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Author Topic: Real Racing 3 sparks debate over micropayment gameplay  (Read 197 times)
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« on: March 12, 2013, 03:01:06 pm »

Real Racing 3 sparks debate over micropayment gameplay


In just the span of a few days last month, Real Racing 3 went from being one of the most-anticipated iOS games of the year to arguably one of the most-frustrating.

The latest edition of the hugely popular Real Racing franchise was the first launched since Electronic Arts bought out the game’s original developer, Firemint, in 2011. While its predecessor originally cost $10 to download, Real Racing 3 runs on a “freemium” model—no cost to download, but packed with in-game “micropayment” options to upgrade the gaming experience, with payment options ranging from $2.60 for small upgrades to $25 for a “Silver Card” good for $700,000 of credit in the game's universe.

Two things happened: First, the game rocketed to the top of the charts, racking up “significantly more” downloads in its first week (according to EA) than the first two Real Racing games combined. But even as those downloads were accumulating, users began complaining that the game was difficult to play without purchasing enhancements. For example, “time outs” force free-playing users to wait for virtual car repairs. Want to skip those breaks? Make a micropayment.

Real Racing 3's micropayment system often makes players wait between rounds, unless they pay.

“The more you enjoy the game the more often you’ll run into these enforced breaks,” TechHive’s Nate Ralph wrote in his review, “forcing you to choose between racing conservatively, cracking open your wallet, or simply finding something else to do.”
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