EA and Firemonkey's Real Racing 3 is one of the most – if not the most – highly-anticipated titles in recent memory. With its intended late February release window fast approaching, the developers have begun dishing out more details about the game, like a specific release date of February 28th and – along with a deafening boom of outrage – the fact that Real Racing 3 will be a freemium title.

On Monday I was able to get my hands on the finished product at a Real Racing 3 demo event in San Francisco, and while we'll be talking more about the game itself and showing you some hands-on video, I thought I'd address just how the free-to-play model works and hopefully put to rest some of the concerns (or merely just confirm them) from those who have expressed dismay at the business model of Real Racing 3.

The way it works is pretty simple, and similar to many other titles. There are two currencies in the game, the first of which is a general dollar currency that is dished out pretty liberally during the normal course of play. The amount earned feels tuned just like pretty much any other racing game, giving you enough to purchase upgrades, make repairs, and buy better vehicles as you naturally progress through the massive campaign.

The freemium catch is that all of those actions – repairs, upgrades and new cars – are set to varying levels of cooldown timers, the length of which are determined by what exactly you're trying to do. For example, repairing your broken taillights after a race because some jerk rear-ended you might take roughly a minute. If you have multiple repairs like that to make, then the time is combined together, and in a typical race all of your repairs to a particular vehicle shouldn't take more than 5 minutes. I even played a race and specifically banged up my car as much as possible, and repairing all of the severe damage at once gave me a wait time of about 20 minutes.

You can even forego repairing your vehicle at all after a race, and the game lets you know when any damage or general wear gets to the point that it negatively affects your car's performance. You'll also face wait times when installing upgrades or unlocking new cars, both of which seem to take longer as more advanced upgrades and vehicles become available.

The remedy to impatience, if you haven't guessed already, is the second, premium currency of gold coins. These can be used to instantly end the wait times, and although there isn't any specific calculation at play, in my experience it felt roughly like one gold coin per each minute left on a timer in order to end it early. Gold coins aren't dished out quite as liberally as the dollar currency, but you do earn a good amount for achieving certain milestones in the game like leveling up your driver profile or completing a series of races.

And that's pretty much it. Depending on your feelings about freemium models, this may sound completely tolerable or completely awful. What I think is key is that there should be very few times in Real Racing 3 where you'll hit a hard, game-stopping paywall. And if you do, the wait times seem to be within reason. With more than 900(!) events and nearly 50 vehicles, there's almost always going to be something to do even if you're waiting for some repairs or upgrades to gestate.

The only time I can imagine where you might be stuck not being able to play at all is in the very beginning when you only have one vehicle. If your sole car is loaded up with wait times, there's nothing really to do but stick it out or cough up some premium currency to zap past the timers. Once you have multiple cars though, if one is tied up with wait times you can just choose another from your garage and go complete events with that one. The timers will continue to tick away in the background and the game will let you know with a quick popup, either while in menus or following a race, when any of your timers have completed.

Once you get several cars under your belt the timers don't even feel obtrusive, and as crazy as it sounds, it even felt like it added a nice sense of management that you'd get from keeping tabs on all the systems in a game like SimCity. It feels like things are constantly moving and happening, and to my own surprise it was actually satisfying. It helps that the cooldowns attempt to emulate real situations – repairs and new parts take time, as does ordering a new car and having it delivered. All part of simulating the life of a professional racer, I'd imagine.

I understand the trepidation over a beloved series like Real Racing going free-to-play. It's a business model which has many benefits but has also been abused enough times in the past that people feel the need to approach with caution. It is what it is – a free game built around timers. But freemium is a trend that isn't going away any time soon, and is even making its way to the console and PC space. It would make sense to make peace with it on some level lest you be skipping a huge chunk of games in the near future.

To that extent, Real Racing 3 feels like it has its heart in the right place. Firemonkeys wants you to play their game which they have dedicated almost two years of their life to. The freemium aspects feel largely unobtrusive in my experience so far, and Real Racing 3 is even more fun and impressive than its predecessors in practically every way. You'll be able to judge that for yourself – for free – when it launches later this month.

  • http://www.facebook.com/inverse.chia Inverse Chia

    Thank you for the explanation. I want to ask you, can you 100% confirm that if one car is being repaired, you can use another and that the wait time doesn't actually affect your profile as a whole? I don't want to believe this as it seems way too liberal. I was bracing for the worst.

    • MrAlbum

      The article seemed to state with clarity that this is exactly how things are.

  • http://twitter.com/QWERTYtheBold Brandon

    I'm actually kind of glad it's free to play. I like free stuff...

    • MrAlbum

      Ditto.

      • ConceptNormal

        Ok, but this isnt your average free to play game... EA creating a Freemium game and playing it is the equivalent of letting a stranger hold onto your credit card and then finding out they want money by the minute to watch it

      • MrAlbum

        So this game won't drain the wallet because it isn't the average FTP game?

        That sounds awesome.

        I do agree that EA is pretty bad with its FTP implementation. Sounds like this game at least dodges that bullet.

      • ConceptNormal

        I don't get what you didn't understand in my last post about EA being the worst FTP producer of games... I guess this is kinda like trying to understand why we realize EA is the worst but still allow them to stay relavent by a means like this...

  • Vestid

    I like this model, but I am generally patient.

  • jeffyg3

    Thanks for the explanation. So I could possibly wait for half an hour before playing the game again because of the time it would take to repair or I can pay real money to speed it up. Yeah, definitely thanks for the explanation, now I know not to waste my time with a crappy IAP system like this. Looks like I'll stick to Real Racing 2, at least I don't have to deal with crap like that. Too bad, was really looking forward to the 3rd game

    • http://twitter.com/mahe167 Jose Andres Gonzalez

      I know.. I've been waiting for RR3 for months and now they say it's a freemium? WTH? I think I'm with you.. I'll stick to RR2 unless RR3 really seems to work fine and not make you wait 2 hours to get a new car or 1 hour to fix it... :/

    • toxiccheese

      So you've been looking forward to it, but now that it turns out to be FREE, you won't bother with it at all? That makes no sense. Why wouldn't you at least download it and see what you think? You may find that you actually enjoy it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/nadav.barkama Nadav Bar Kama

        do you really think you will get an EA title for free?

      • http://twitter.com/PSNHotwire Hot-Wire

        No, the opposite, that is why most of us was nervous when they acquired them. Now we know our fears did come true.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jon-Smith/100003406751826 Jon Smith

        "Why wouldn't you at least download it and see what you think?" Principle...

      • err404

        To many disappointments with every other FTP game. It may not seam bad at first. Casual players may have not issues at all. FTP games are better for casual games, but always ruin games with depth. Once you delve into the meat of the game the pay model will jump out. I expect that they will throw gold at you for the first hour or so to get you used to spending it, then slowly they will either stop giving it away for free, or increase the amount you need to the point that the game gets frustrating, unless you pay. I refuse to play the game for 5-10 hours only to have the fun ripped away by requiring a drip feed of cash as I progress. Basically I won't be able to commit to a game that I know is meant to frustrate me into paying.

      • visualplayer

        But they're clearly saying it's not free to play. ''Freemium'' is a total lie. What this is is people getting to play for ten minutes then getting told to wait or pay, wait or pay... for a RACING game? Wait? Really?

        People here are right, total turn off. Lots of folks will download but very few will stick with it past the spoiled teens. I hope the company doesn't collapse; they make great games and adopting this model could destroy their business.

    • Illuminerdy

      Don't be such a neckbeard. Go for a short run during that time, then play again (for free), or, you know, spend 6.99 on IAP and never worry about a timer again.

      • Telltales

        Until you get further and have to spend more and more money. That's how it usually works. It's usually a sad system that dumbs down a good game

      • MrAlbum

        The article mentioned that timers are car-specific. Thus, multiple unlocked cars means you can keep playing while waiting for one car to finish repairs, and it shouldn't take long playing to unlock more cars. That's extremely generous compared to other FTP atrocities.

        Thus, I see no foundation for your anger. Give me logical proof that the info in this article indicates a terrible FTP game. Then I might actually give a crap about your emotions. I only respond now because you sound way too upset to be credible, so I figured I'd give my $0.02 for the sake of contrast.

      • Illuminerdy

        Hey, I am on your side. Preachin' to the choir!

      • MrAlbum

        Wait, I was talkin-to the other fellow-

        *sees usernames below*

        ...... Well... Oops.

        Sorry dude, I swear it was reflex!

      • http://twitter.com/PSNHotwire Hot-Wire

        .... uh... it doesn't work like that. You pay once to ignore the clock once. That is how it works. If it is paid once for 6.99 to ignore the wait, I wouldn't mind it, because I'll just take it that I'm buying the game.

      • MidianGTX

        That's your solution? To enjoy your games, go for a run? That's ridiculous.

    • Gamer_Kev

      I fully agree with you, Jeffy. I was going to say pretty much the same thing. I've come to really hate games that use timers, so I'll be passing this one too, I'm not going to wasted precious memory space on my device for such a game.

  • http://twitter.com/mahe167 Jose Andres Gonzalez

    After all, I guess this freemium (thank you EA) game won't be bad at all. I really hope it plays and looks like RR2 or better, I am a big fan of it.

    We'll have to wait and see..

  • nini

    No interest in the game but this is how you kill a AAA game and reduce it to less than nothing in the minds of users. Freemium when used badly and unfairly is a terrible gambling mentality started by those cruddy free to play poker and bingo games that hook you and ask you to pay to progress and applying it everywhere, why else do I have no confidence in games billing themselves as "addictive"?

    It's just a game, please don't try to turn it into a vice that'll cripple me financially and potentially ruin my life!!

    • cplr

      Don't blame the crack, blame the crack smoker, what's what I always say.

  • Twaster31

    They should have made it cost like $10 and I would have paid for it.

    Idiots. I hate freemi stuff. EA just wants more money

    • VA1N

      Unfortunately, it's a business, and they will do anything to get their hands on more money. We might not like it, but I guarantee we'll still play it.

  • ridiculocity

    EA are more evil than the retiring Pope!! Tiny Tower with cars.

  • tarasis

    Slightly disappointing but at least they are allowing using other cars while one is being fixed. I certainly won't be buying any IAP currency to speed timers on. (Unless they had one for say $6-8 that removed the timer or cut it down significantly, kind of like Blockheads)

    • http://twitter.com/PSNHotwire Hot-Wire

      The only way I'd buy the IAP is if it removed the timer completely... otherwise it is like throwing cash at an endless pit. I work finance, I know better.

  • http://twitter.com/try2bcool69 Jay G

    You people are some the biggest babies I've ever heard. Don't play it if you don't like it, nobody gives a damn whether you do or don't.

    • Illuminerdy

      Spoken like a true neckbeard baby who feels uncomfortable when folks have differing opinions.

      • MrAlbum

        That is an extremely rude and tactless comment. Because it is so insulting, no one will listen to whatever info is contained in it.

        Congratulations: you have not contributed to the discussion in a meaningful way that could actually clear up the bullcrap that has surged lately. That's how I see it IMHO.

      • Illuminerdy

        Listen, bro, I half troll. I try to offer perspective while being an asshole. This guy called everyone babies. I defended the honor of the neckbearded babies with valid gripes.

      • MrAlbum

        Then I need to understand what the heck is a neckbeard. Is it just another word for Nerd?

      • dekon

        Trolls, only Big behind a keyboard. Small and cowaerdly IRL (don't have any friends either). I
        Pitty you.

      • MrAlbum

        Yes, I'm pissed. Yes, I'm an idiot for staying on this discussion long past the point of usefulness.

        I'm aware of how pathetic I am. But I don't need your pity; I'm hard enough on myself as it is.

      • dekon

        Dude! My comment was towards illuminerdy

        Next to my nick is a arrow that show to who you replied to.

      • Illuminerdy

        I have friends. You are so unkind to suggest otherwise. Further, I was only lashing out at folks who drew others into their hate on others for having different opinions void.

      • MidianGTX

        This is why nobody cares about your warped perspective.

      • Illuminerdy

        I sense a great beard in the neck. No one cares. WAAAAAHHH!

  • http://twitter.com/dezign999 François

    First Infinity Blade Dungeons and now this... I hope this timer crap only pertains to online matches, and grinding out cars playing solo is unaffected.

  • SystemX

    "Firemonkeys wants you to play their game which they have devoted two years of their life to..."

    If Firemonkeys really wanted me to play their game, they wouldn't create a wait mechanism that prevents me from playing elements of said game.

    • riChchestMat

      This this this. They introduced a mechanism that punishes you from playing the game. Every time I would think about firing up the game to play a couple of races I would be aware that I would be adding a cool down timer to the end of the first race. Why bother? It would make me switch to another game while waiting and it wouldn't be very long before I end up not going back. Knowing this is to come I wouldn't even start.
      All of this would be resolved by the option of a premium IAP to remove the timers permanently. Something priced at £9.99 or higher to put it in the Squeenix price bracket to make them decent money. This would offer genuine choice and meet firefarmville's desire to open the game up to as many people as possible.

      • Illuminerdy

        You guys are being punished. You've been very bad neckbeards.

      • MrAlbum

        WTF is a neckbeard?!

      • syipisa

        I will let my hair grow long, then shave my whole head except the neck-part.

      • http://twitter.com/snowy2004 Stéphane Lachance

        Is calling someone a neckbeard the new way nerds call each other nerds?

    • arn

      There's no question that more people will play this game as a free one than a $9.99 one.

      • karma32

        Then they should have made it free with the option to stop that stupid wait to repair BS. This free-to-play model on a hardcore game is shameful.

  • Richard Hill

    Many people want iOS gaming to rival consoles. RR has been one of those titles that's made me think its possible. That was until now, I would rather pay good money for an AAA title which I can play for as long as I want, and not have to wait hours for things to happen. Forza and GT would have torn apart my critics if they contained this business model. I blame EA.

    • MidianGTX

      Don't worry, EA are also planning to push the model onto consoles in future. Then everything will be equally as terrible.

  • ali1

    Can't really blame the developers. Look at the top grossing apps in the store and they are all freemiums. I do wonder who the hell spends real money on this stuff. Just seems stupid to pay actual money for virtual crap, but we are in the minority here.
    The only way to fight it is to not buy IAP and tell your friends not to do it. Once the top grossing chart contains paid games once more, publishers will stop this freemium nonesense.

    • Illuminerdy

      Minecraft.

      • Illuminerdy

        Past RR games.

      • MrAlbum

        Are they at the TOP or IN THE TOP TEN?

        *checks*

        Okay, you got me at Minecraft PE. But that's just 1/10 for the All Games Grossing chart to be premium. RR 2 isn't even close.

        Bloons TD 5, a paidmium, is at number 30.

        I counted less than 20-ish premium apps in the Top 100 grossing for all games. RR 2 wasn't one of them.

        Your point being?

      • NathanQuest

        Well, he HAS a point - if I look into the german store, 7 of the top 10 highest grossing games are freemium... So it definitly is a valid model - at least in Germany :-)

      • Crzychkn

        Neckbeard.

    • http://twitter.com/piyushr21 Piyush

      its not because of freemium games its because there download size is very low max 10-30mb thats why tgey are easy to download and fast to play whereas hardcore games are more than 100mb to max 1.5gb and you cant download them without wifi. thats why this games are always on top.

      • systemx78

        Minecraft is an exception and is on top because Minecraft never goes on sale. Aside from launch it has always been $6.99 and it shows no sign of going on sale in the future. For this reason people buy the game at its full price knowing that if they want this game they are going to have to pay full price for it. This is allowing it to keep a steady App Store ranking.

        In other premium pay first games there are many people out there that make use of their watch list to grab the games when they go on sale. This is the cause for their diminished ranking as the buyers wait for the reduced price before they buy.

        Another minor influence is pirate games on the jailbreaks. Freemium games are not really obtained through pirate copies because they are free so they are downloaded from the App store where premium titles have some reduced sales because of people whom download from illegal channels.

    • apolloa

      This is the real truth unfortunately, how much money did that kid spend on the freemium Smurfs game? You could link the freemium model to gambling addiction, the devs know this and it's what they hope will happen as it nets them more money then they can imagine.
      As for Minecraft, on the Apple app store it's at number 16 of the highest grossing games. And the IAP of EA's Sims game pricing ranges from 69p all the way to £69.99!!

  • http://niezam.com/ niezam

    CSR Racing-style of FREEmium, oh well.

  • slamraman

    I'm getting too old for this coin stuff. Sounds properly rubbish. Shame really - the first two were ground breakers in there own way.

  • http://twitter.com/Adamanth_Twit Adamanth

    IMHO they came up with a terrible solution.

    Should they add an IAP that completely skips waiting times for a reasonable prime (for me this would be around 10$), then, I'd give it a try. For me it would be just like buying a full game.

    But,as things were presented in the article, I won't be bothered to try out the game at all.

    I'll add a personal consideration: last year in this period I was playing several games and enjoying them. This year I'm using my iOS devices for anything BUT gaming... is it just me?

    • Illuminerdy

      They won't give you that choice. The model is meant to make you spend more than you meant to. Ay, there's the rub. Don't spend a single time and enjoy the game if you want to stick into the man.

      • Illuminerdy

        *dime

      • MrAlbum

        Now this has hints of reason. Why weren't you this lucid in your previous comments?

      • MrAlbum

        See my above comments and accept my silent *facepalm*

      • Illuminerdy

        Because it was 3 AM

    • Crzychkn

      I'm still playing quite a bit of games such as Starbase Orion, Hero Academy, and Outwitters. On top of that single player games like the FF series or games like Mutant Mudds or Bastion. I think if one were to stay away from freemium then iOS gaming wouldn't feel so cheap and soul sucking.

  • sonof90s

    How to kill a promising franchise.

    • db2

      Step 1: Sell your company to EA.

      • VA1N

        That about sums it up.

  • Illuminerdy

    I call on a group of gamers ballsy / uterusy enough to play this game and never spend a time. Further, I challenge gamers to ignore the fact that IAP exist. Talk about how much fun they are having with free content. We don't like the model, so inspire, we will simply ignore it and pretend EA gave us a free game and sing its praises! The look on their faces!

    • MrAlbum

      That's the spirit!

      Is this related to the neckbeard thing?

  • Tim Cant

    Trying to put a casual, time sink mechanic into a hardcore game like this could really backfire for EA. I would have paid for this but there's no way in hell I'm buying any freaking virtual coins.

  • ConceptNormal

    A Freemium game is a game to not be taken seriously... It's a shame Firemint worked 2 long, hard years on this to not only be bought out by EA, but then not take their pricing seriously and completely destroy their once well respected flagship series

    • ConceptNormal

      WORST.

      • ConceptNormal

        IDEA.

      • ConceptNormal

        EVER.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nadav.barkama Nadav Bar Kama

    the business model is a separated issue from the gaming experience itself ... i myself would be happy to pay a few bucks for a game i like, and then just play it ... and with the micro cost of many titles, no harm is done if every now and then you pay 99 cents for a game that cant complete with your expectations.
    but im also happy to play for free... ill just have to see what the "cost" in the gaming experience will be (?) ... of this FREE ...

  • karma32

    I don't know what the problemo is. It's totally like real racing now, like the name. In like real life u have to spend real money and you have to totally wait awhile for your cars to get fixed. This is like totally immersive. OMG. Cant wait to spend real money over and over and over and over and over and over again. So amazingly sweet, this changes everything

    • http://twitter.com/piyushr21 Piyush

      lol epic apple dialogue

  • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

    A fun game to play is to read these comments and guess which people have actually read the article and which people skipped it but just blindly hate anything that involves IAP in any way. Pretty sure I'm batting 1.000 so far.

    • http://www.facebook.com/inverse.chia Inverse Chia

      If so, you've lost! Only 50+ comments posted so far, dude.

      • Illuminerdy

        Guy doesn't get metaphors itt,

    • MrAlbum

      I did read the article. I just got caught up in the trolling/counter-trolling.

  • Crimzzen

    This just reeks of a company who's sold out. I don't buy the "We can't make money selling this game at a premium price." Please please please consider an option to just unlock the game for a flat price. You can have your freemium version for those who want it and an unlocked version for those of us willing to shell out. Otherwise I'm afraid I won't bother even checking it out; this freemium craze has got to stop somewhere.

    • http://www.facebook.com/inverse.chia Inverse Chia

      Indie devs are the saviors. Screw all the moneybags living on Wall STreet.

    • MrAlbum

      That's pretty hard to do, when around 80+ games on the Top Grossing All Games chart are FTP games in some way, shape and/or form. It would take a sea-change in humanity.

  • http://twitter.com/nuno2k nuno lourenco

    Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

    • joydiv

      Estúpido...

  • Mister Bump

    Sounds fucking awful.

  • http://twitter.com/PSNHotwire Hot-Wire

    The wait mechanic is horrible >_>. I'm a very impatient person, because I don't play hardcore. I'm core. I jump on when I feel like playing and if I have to wait... than I'll just play something else <_<. Great job EA... I was very excited for this game... now not so much.

  • chanandler

    Have they announced the price of the IAP's yet? Whenever I look at a new F2P game and see the top purchase at £69.99 I just delete it. These companies that think they can sustain a business model based on that level of spending for what is basically a mobile game, are tripping! Just price the game sensibly (I'd pay up to £10 for it easily as I loved the first two) and ditch this F2P bollox.

  • Mr. Grizzly

    I can deal with this type of time constriction. Once several cars are unlocked, switch cars, play other races, and come back to your favourite car once the repairs are done - and try not to ding your cars up too much.

  • oooooomonkey

    Well I'm not holding much hope for this one now, paid I would have played it because I had money invested but as a free to play game (going by every other free game I've played) ill probably play a couple of races and delete it.

    There's one thing for sure and that's ill never pay to speed up timers.

  • iValerio90

    I'll pass...f**k EA f**k firemonkey and f**k freemiun

  • Neku1121

    To me, freemium is just a system for users to pay and pay in an endless loop. It's a cheap tactic especially when used in iOS gaming. Statistically speaking, paying a one time payment would be much more...efficient in my opinion rather than 10 million different payments to speed up the game. For a game that would've succeeded real racing 2 (a beautiful game in fact) would be a disgrace to keep it to freemium.

  • nam009

    Wow ! Now I am more excited !!

  • psk

    You know, my parents used to accuse me of waiting my time, playing video games all day. Now I'm all gown up and make a ton of money coding games. How ironic that we make games today who's purpose is to literally waste kids time while they sit staring at rotating circles. Mum and dad was right :(

  • ImJPaul

    I will never make peace with freemium. This is greedy marketing. Taking advantage of your consumer and seeing them as sponges or a nice neck to leech off is not good, no matter how well you word it. I will not waste time on this and I will never waste my time on any of this garbage. Luckily, there's plenty of non-greedy developers out there. Even Square Enix doesn't have the audacity to make their AAA titles freemium. Oh well. Hey EA, SUCK MY GOOCH.

    • nomster

      Do you own Graham Gooch - the former England Cricket captain?

      If so... congrats!

      • riChchestMat

        I saw him last summer signing autographs at Lords. He's very fat now. True story.

    • nomster

      Do you own Graham Gooch - the former England Cricket captain?

      If so... congrats!

  • wiredfractal

    You make waiting seem so exciting but that's part of life where we don't want our games to have. People have so little time everyday that wasting it to wait for another minute or two is awful. I hope we can still unlock the full game for a premium price so I can just go and race anytime I want.

    If this is not the case then I'm just content on playing RR2 on my iPhone or iPad. This is on par with Blizzard making SC2 and D3 only playable when you are online. Let us just play the damn game!

  • karma32

    Leave hardcore games alone. That freemium model crap should stay on for the casual market. A perfect example how pathetically EA can easily ruin a once great hardcore gaming franchise with the casual free to play crap. Shameful

  • http://www.facebook.com/inverse.chia Inverse Chia

    This shall spell the end of the premium market on the Appstore, I believe. Come 2015 all games will have a pricetag of "free". Take my word for it.

  • Bart274

    Hi Jared,
    Do you know the requirements for this new version? Will it work on an iPhone 3Gs?

  • bobehm

    There's a 2nd reason to go with IAP as the primary income source: piracy.

    I hate this sort if "irritate the player" IAP but the model is here to stay. I'd rather they have gone with purchasable cars or expansions.

  • Jzracin

    The reason for all the freemium games is all the people jail breaking their devices and basically stealing games same thing with consoles the developers who put their heart and soul into these games and people just take advantage of it because they dont want to spend 6.00$ so theres who you to complain to,theives are ruining the way video games are because developers are getting the money they deserve.

  • InfectiousRed

    Calling it now....Real Racing 4: Freemium Endless Driver with Dragons and Town Building!

    • ImJPaul

      And zombies.

  • http://twitter.com/BrettArchibald Brett Archibald

    Our iPhones have turned into portable arcade machines...
    "I wanna play another game."
    "That'll be another quarter please!"

  • http://www.facebook.com/brian.boulnois Brian Boulnois

    Hear is a thought based on what we know so far your racing car gets damaged you have to wait to repair it or spend out hard money. So how does that work...if i was hit someone up the back crash into the side of them do they also take damage and thus have to wait also? If the damage will apply to both cars i can see people crashing into others just to make them wait cause they pissed them off in someway or if its against this AI player there is nothing to say the AI will target you after all how could you prove it that the AI is trying to crash into you just to damage your car its just a racing accident ?

  • LM10

    Everyone please don't buy anything in the app! This might show that freemium is not a move that any of their fans like

  • Unperson

    To those of you pointing to piracy as the reason for "freemium" and IAP in apps, I will concede that piracy is a problem, but these two pay schemes do little to fix the problems with piracy. If anything, piracy includes ways around both freemium and IAP mechanisms (i.e., hacking data files, etc.).

    No, these pay till you bleed styles of wallet tapping are because developers want to make more money than people are willing to pay at the onset of getting their apps. Give the game away for free, hook players with compelling play mechanisms, get them addicted, then shake them upside down for every penny in their pockets.

    Why is this becoming the norm? Simply because it works. For every few players they lose, a few cough up the money. Many are quick to call these companies greedy, but then, what "is" a company? Do you really think they're a bunch of swell guys willing to put in 40+ hours a week just to give you apps for a nickel?

    Some developers do seem more altruistic (e.g., Imangi Studios, Rovio, etc.), but don't kid yourselves. They're still making money. In fact, the ones that seem to be the most generous are usually the ones making the most money. They may give away their app and offer no IAP or in-game currency, but they then mine your data and sell it to the highest bidder

    What was true before iDevices is still true today. There is NO free lunch. Period.

    P.S. I probably won't be playing Real Racing 3 because while I do understand what they're doing and acknowledge their thinking, IAP and freemium mechanics (in general) make me want to puke my guts out. Charge me a solid price for your app, I'll research it through reviews and other sources, and "maybe" I'll buy it. Drop the "carrot on the stick" crap. I don't care if you're able to fleece the weak-minded; your appstore Jedi mind tricks won't work on me.

  • agentblank

    It sounds quite annoying at the beginning. And I usually only have 1 car in racing games I olay, but I guess I will have to have more than one for this.

  • blackryn0

    No thanks. Getting a ps vita. The publishers are trying to steal from your pockets with this crap. They know they can't do crap like this on consoles or real handhelds. I'm done, time to take of the training wheels and upgrade.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Hopper/1238691947 Paul Hopper

      Best you can do is delay the inevitable by running to those other systems, all three are starting to see iap titles show up.

      • InfectiousRed

        It's already happened. Aside from MMOs where this stuff started and have already infiltrated consoles, there are also PS Minis where phone games have been ported for play on PS3 & PSP/Vita.

        Jet pack Joyride comes to mind. I have it on PS3. I even bought the coin doubler because that's a non-consumable add-on that helps the game. I have no problem with that kind of IAP/DLC. I will never buy the coin packs though.

  • Rothgarr

    I'm gonna put the freemium debate aside and ask if anyone looked at those screenshot? Holy moly wow! Are those really screens from the game? Are those "photo mode" or something where it anti-aliases everything so nicely? Given the pixel dimensions I assume those are iPhone 5 screens. i wonder how the visuals will compare on iPad 2, 3, 4 and iPhone 4 and 4s?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Hopper/1238691947 Paul Hopper

      Those are screenshots, probably ipad 4/iphone5 quality.

      • Rothgarr

        I think it would be neat if the TouchArcade review shows some sample similar screenshots from multiple devices to see how the visuals compare.

  • objectiveC

    This is just propaganda

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Hopper/1238691947 Paul Hopper

    Given the comments regarding this system of iap I fully expect this title will top our the charts and sit there for ever heh. Look at that last final fantasy game's chart position compared to the negativity it received on most game sites.

  • http://twitter.com/iseptimus Paul

    As soon as I hit a point where I have to pay this will be deleted.

    Give us a premium option! I hate freemium with a passion. It's only going to get worse. I would happily pay £10 for the game outright and know that I get everything. Games should be designed with progression in mind, not money grabbing!

  • Rothgarr

    FACT: 100% of you racing fans who were really looking forward to this but say you will no longer download it due to the freemium model are still all going to download it.

  • apolloa

    hhmmmm.... it doesn't 'SOUND' too bad a system, but just how many events will you need to use a certain car type for? And are you going to be able to have more then one car of this type? That's the issue, and you are always going to damage the car racing. The fact you smashed a car up and it took 20 mins to repair it is bad enough, who wants a game you can't play for 20 mins?
    I have my doubts and am not sure if this is a good system or the worst IAP system.

    It is also easy to solve piracy, just fix a game so you can play the first two levels or something, then you are forced to pay to unlock the rest of the game and it locks that game to your account. Piracy is nothing more then a marketing excuse to sell the freemium model.

  • angel841

    I hate that wait time. Thats the same reason I deleted CSR racing the same day I Downloaded. The thing is, this game is also on android, so maybe thats the reason of the freemium. And maybe another reason for the long wait its the testing on the 1,000,000 POS android devices. I think we got screw because of them.

  • Professionalbum

    A simple kinda unrelated question; can you use your gift cards towards IAP? If not, that's my only complaint about F2P.

  • Nick Rice

    I don't know if this has been mentioned but does anyone think that you might be able to avoid the wait times if you shut the game off and then just shift the time forward on the iphone. That way you could avoid having to wait for damage or other time sensitive issues.

  • LCB12321

    I understand the hate for the freemium model but I don't get it when this site praises games like tiny tower and temple run which are bassiclly the same thing.

    I guess I also blame CSR racing for showing how the freemium model is done for racing.

    The wait thing is terrible and the worst form of Iap....

    I think we need to start putting down all freemium games in its own stupid section no matter how good it is... Get this poison away from the real games.

    • http://twitter.com/DotComCTO DotComCTO

      I haven't bothered with Tiny Tower, but I have played both Temple Run games a fair bit. The difference is that I'm not really hampered from playing for free on TR1 and 2. It's pretty mindless fun and I can grind out getting coins because I don't really care how long that takes. In RR3, you're hampered from playing unless you spend coins (at least until you get a solid selection of cars). To me, that's a huge difference.

      EA has already said that they are going to use F2P and other incentive models to continue to monetize customers. Just look at how EA does this in Madden (can you say, "Ultimate Team" card packs?!)!

  • thetrackt

    iOS gaming is over

  • Illuminerdy

    I just hope the multiplayer is Pay2Win. I am not very good at racing games, so I could use the boost to beat your score! I don't mind dropping a hundo on that kind of service. This is America. Poor people to the bottom of the leaderboard.

  • B30

    So, in real life I wait for the bus (e.g.), and in-game I wait for my car. Very satisfying :((

  • http://twitter.com/Zghying John Dickerson

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling! On a different note, does any know what the app file size is going to be?

  • cplr

    Fact: there's a lot of whining here. Fact: none of it matters, it'll still be the number one free app for a long time (and probably top 20 grossing).

    Your complaining is meaningless. Vote with your money, it's the only thing they listen to or care about.

  • MidianGTX

    We should have seen this coming really. EA said last year they were planning to kill gaming using free-to-play.

  • oooooomonkey

    So I'm still confused?.?. How many smurf berrys wil it take to hire an assassin who's prepared to go to EA headquarters?

  • http://twitter.com/dmarcoot Dave Marcoot

    Let me just buy the game already and not have to do any of this.

    One point i do want to make which i might have missed if it has been discussed is the elephant room: piracy.

    Now that this is being ported to Android which has even more piracy than iOS, this must have been the only sustainable business model.

    So to all of you who pirate games, a FU from all of us who now to deal with this BS because of you.

  • andris12345

    Never thought real racing would work as FTP but this seems good

  • Maniacfive

    Well, that sounds awful.

    "Just play with the other cars you are already bored of after grinding with them to unlock the better cars while your favourite car is fixed! Or play later."

    At that point an ad for Tapped Out appears on screen suggesting you kill 20 minutes sending homer to eat at Gulp 'n' blow.

    I've nothing against freemium. I've thrown some dollars at Eliminate, nimblebit. And yes, even tapped out. Not much just small change. But those were freemium games. I accept those elements. Shoe horning in freemium elements to an otherwise hardcore racer is just, ugh.

    Honestly, indie devs are the way forward.

  • http://www.onebagtravel.com/ OneBagTravel

    Way to lose my support devs.

  • http://twitter.com/stuartdredge Stuart Dredge

    Just piping up for the moderate's view: I'm not over-keen on energy-based freemium mechanics, but everything the Firemint team did for the previous games makes me want to wait until RR3 is out, give it a proper play and see what I think.

    The anger and concern shows the love people have for those first few games, but maybe that's also a reason to reserve judgement until the game is in our hands?

  • systemx78

    There are so many threads I want to reply to but I don't have enough gold coins. In thirty minutes I can comment again. For now, I'll go comment on other articles until I can come back.

  • err404

    This is great for people who just want a show off title to waste time on every once and a while, but this sounds TERRIBLE for serious fans of the genre. A huge part of racing sim is repetition to learn the car and track. This method of pay wall explicitly blocks racing fans, relegating the game to casual play. I'm out.
    It's sad because I WANT to give them money. In all honesty I would be ok with a $20 IAP that removed the pay wall completely, but I refuse to drip freed a game that has mechanisms designed to be frustrating.

  • MrAlbum

    Something just occurred to me:

    The article said that repairs can be skipped. Sure, take too much damage and you start to hurt the performance of your car. However, I think you can, in theory, race a car so much that it must be repaired to race again, and if you're GOOD enough, that could be stretched over quite a few races. Thus, one car per race doesn't have to be the case, it may be more like one car per four or five races.

    That's even more generous. And awesome.

  • themostunclean

    Freemium- Yet another horrible gaming trend we have the eastern game developers to thank for.

  • themostunclean

    EA also half killed Dead Space 3 by adding micro transactions. The only thing that saved that game for me was Visceral announcing that the resource farming bugs would not be patched. They were there "on purpose".

    Hopefully you can use manual date/time adjustment on the iPhone to fool the timers on RE3. Seems to be pretty common with cooldown based FTP titles.

    • themostunclean

      I mean RR3. Friggin autocorrect. Guess someone at Apple is a Resident Evil fan.

  • Dead Saint XIII

    It doesn't seem too terrible, I mean, on games with the special and normal currency, I normally only buy $3 - 5 worth, while if we took the free to play model away, it could be a $7 game instead. As long as we don't have to use the gold coins for purchasing cars too, it doesn't seem too terrible.

  • DopeDisq

    I'd buy the game if it were $10.99 but I know that I won't spend a cent on IAP .. Back to Real Racing 2

  • worldcitizen1919

    Very disappointing. Was really looking forward to buying and playing this. This pay as you go IAP system is a big scam and rip off. They ruin great games by turning them into poker machines.

    Games like Fifa and Madden are next. NFL by Gameloft was a tragedy. Now Real Racing 3.

  • http://twitter.com/xSushi Richard

    So THATs why you really delayed for so long................

  • Trentos

    All this madness. It's only been available for several hours. Which means 99% of the above have expressed their anguish over other freemium games in the past...with no actual experience with RR3. While I completely understand where you're all coming from, I'm gonna hold my own frustration (if it ever comes) until I've actually played RR3 to its core and discovered if a pay wall actually exists there. Chances are high yes! But it's not fact yet. And if it does become fact, you've still got the cushion there: use or purchase another car until your bent up car is repaired. It improve your racing skills.

  • H4WKE

    After playing the game for several hours now, I can say that the driving mechanics and graphics are unrivaled on iOS and a huge improvement from RR2. However, the pay or wait walls completely ruin the app, at least for me. One solid bump in a race and you're stuck waiting 6-8 min to repair your car. This really sucks, especially since I have been looking forward to this game ever since I finished RR2 and from a gameplay standpoint, the game is amazing. I really hope they add an IAP to remove all waits as I'd gladly pay $10-20 for it so I can actually enjoy the game.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/Y4TV776JS5XAE5OW4WMDVZ6TSQ Davemon

    This app is what I call "GREEMIUM"... Greedy Freemium. I agree that the Freemium model is a valid business model. But many games implement Freemium in varying ways. Some are more forgiving, allowing you to EARN your way through the game with NO or minimal IAP's, at the expense of TIME (longer waits, more grinding, re-playing over and over and over). This is fair. But in other games, like RR3, the Freemium model is not so fair. Unlocking all the cars in this game will cost hundreds of dollars and/or take 1000's of hours of gameplay. Developers/Publishers like EA need to find that sweet spot, i.e. a level of FAIRNESS in their IAP prices and their time-limited (wait) or pay-to-play-now prices. As for RR3, technically, I could see this game on a PS3 and I'd have no problem paying a PS3 price for it, but only if I could EARN my way through the game, unlocking all cars without additional microtransactions, without the timed waiting periods. If game designs of the future are going to revolve around MONEY DRIVEN concepts, count me out. Glad I still have my Sega Genesis, my PS1, my PS2, my PS3, my DS, 3DS, PSP, Vita. I've bought game for all these systems. I can play and complete them 100% without having to pay another dime. My kids will enjoy the games on these systems. They won't be able to afford this kind of experience if future games are designed like RR3. It's really sad.