This morning our eagle-eyed pals across the pond at PocketGamer spotted a silent update that went live in Real Racing 3. In a nutshell, timers across the board have been tweaked. Repairs now happen instantly [See update below] and service wait times have been cut by 2/3. We've yet to really sink our teeth into the game in its updated state, but it seems like it's now going to take way longer to reach the point where you're hitting a hard wall where you need to wait hours before you can race again.

If nothing else, this has shown that like many other free to play games, The Firemonkeys can tweak things on the fly from their end. Furthermore, this further reinforces the fact that these soft launches are almost always used for tweaking and smashing any last minute issues before the game goes live on the international market. It seems sort of silly to pass judgement on Real Racing 3 before its final release on the 28th, which is when we'll be posting our review based on whatever the "final" version of these timers ends up being.

It's been an exciting ride so far though, and it'll be interesting seeing what (if any) additional tweaks or updates come down the pipe before then.

Update: Welp, that didn't take long. The instant repairs have been changed back to what looks like their normal wait times, but the service times appear to still remain shorter than before. EA will no doubt continue tweaking the formula during its soft launch period, so expect even more changes before its launch worldwide on February 28th.

New Zealand & Australia App Store Link: Real Racing 3, Free

  • Scape3d

    "...updates come down the pipe before then."

    Down the "pipe" or down the "pike?"

    • nini

      Pipe. Internets, dude.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        It's a series of tubes.

      • http://www.facebook.com/Darkwolf.1982 Laurens Nash

        Oh? I thought the entire Internet was made out of cats! :P

      • Guest

        And I also want to take this moment to thank you so much for your work at the forums (especially in the RR 3 thread), I for one love you mean. Love watching your Let's play videos too. Keep up the good work my man!

      • http://www.facebook.com/Darkwolf.1982 Laurens Nash

        And I also want to take this moment to thank you so much for your work at the forums despite all the hate thrown at you (especially in the RR 3 thread), I for one love you man. Love watching your Let's play videos too. Keep up the good work dude!

  • lobotomies4free

    The timers seem smart actually but I'm more worried about these $9.99 content packs that have like 3 cars. I used to be able to get two of the old games for that. I know we're getting a lot free here but still

    • err404

      If people want to buy progress, that's fine with me so long as the rate to earn them is reasonable. Even big racing games like Forza let impatient users pay real money for tokens to skip the grind for expensive cars.
      This update is encouraging, but it still has the same fundamental issue of tuning the game for frustration instead of fun. In the end I don't want a free game that is less frustrating, I want to pay for a game that is fun.

  • MidianGTX

    There you go. Developers respond to feedback. People made their disappointment known and as a result the game got better. I guess TA's forum members aren't that pathetic and childish after all.

    • randy gash smasher

      Debatable

      • MidianGTX

        Everything around here is :D

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      I know it's easy to get all up in arms about this, but it's also entirely possible that this was part of the plan all along. Keep in mind, the reason companies do these soft launches is to test their infrastructure and make tweaks to the game. The timers could've been a way to severely artificially limit the load on their time shifted multiplayer servers and the rest of the network-intesive stuff that's powering this game.

      It's easy to forget that there's a purpose behind these kind of launch strategies- It's not just to give people in New Zealand a sneak peek at the game... Which is just all the more reason to not get totally worked up until we see what the "final" version of the game is on the 28th.

      • MidianGTX

        I agree, but I don't think there's any doubt they were keen to see the initial feedback, so expressing our displeasure wasn't exactly the wrong move to make.

      • http://pinoyteens.net/ PinoyTeens.Net

        Spoken like a true EA fanboy.

      • exan1974

        Seems like a logical strategy, considering the magnitude of EA and it's position/power over the gaming industry. It's a BIG corporation, whose sole objetive is to profit, using whatever legal means they have. And they have every right to do so. That's not to say I agree with their practices - when I think of EA, the image that comes to my mind is that of a greedy bully.

        What strikes me as odd, not to say shady, was TA's 'halfbaked' conclusion that the RR3 system was good, fair.
        Between this arrogant article and the EGM's review of Aliens: Colonial Marines, it hasn't been a great week for gaming media's credibility.

  • http://twitter.com/dasme Lloyd Hannesson

    Wondering what happened to the Canadian release? Was this also stealth tweaked? ie. Cancelled?

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      We heard of the Canadian release from CNET, not from The Firemonkeys themselves so it's possible they just got that wrong.

  • Arch Deluxe

    Can they set back their timers to undo their merger with EA?

    • wildperson

      Wow. We get it. Screw EA.
      When will people realize that they're just preaching to the choir around here?...

  • runliketurtles

    But I thought nothing was wrong with the way RR3 did IAP and timers......

  • http://twitter.com/HookaPicks Hooka's Stock Picks

    When does this drop in the USA?

    • wildperson

      The 28th.

  • http://twitter.com/iseptimus Paul

    The Facebook feedback has been deservedly harsh and I hope it makes them go the whole hog and release a premium version.

    "It seems sort of silly to pass judgement on Real Racing 3 before its final release on the 28th"

    No it doesn't. Without the judgement being passed on what they have released then nothing would have changed. Freemium is still a money grab and nothing else. It enhances nothing and offers nothing for the end user.

    • Illuminerdy

      I like the repair system. It adds sim value. I noticed a huge difference with these tweaks. I think this game will actually be reasonable by the time the global launch hits.

      • azsxdc

        I assume you mean that it makes the game more realistic? How is it that you could change brakes (that involves removing wheel) in 2 mins but it takes 10 mins to put new tyres on? Most of these things seem to be arbitrarily set and have no correlation to real life.

        I'm quite pleased with the current state which has no wait times for repairs, in fact I'm now pleasantly surprised by their generosity. I don't expect it to stay this way for long.

        I don't think we'll get a complete reversal of the app's original premise but I will accept a "reasonable" wait time.

  • Awesomenessprime

    Guess the babies cried loud enough to get their candy.

    • karma32

      Glad they did. Better than lazy scumbags that just sit back, do nothing, and accept crappy things that happen cuz that's all their life has amounted to. At least babies aren't lame to not voice their opinions to get EA to wake up a bit, much better than the lazy scumbags who have no voice

      • Guest

        Totally agree. Though, people who don't try to change things or voice their discontent are the real babies

      • Awesomenessprime

        Dude, your life has amounted to complaining about a video game. New priorities, maybe. It's just a video game. You act like you're changing the bloody world. It's a video game.

      • Illuminerdy

        I bet you get riled up about stupid shit too, like your favorite sports team losing a big game.

    • Guest

      The reality is that people who don't try to change things or voice their discontent on obvious problems are the real babies

    • jeffyg3

      How about we be better people and not call each other babies. Besides calling other people babies cause they're sharing their disappointments makes u look like an...well you figure that other part out.

  • Duuude

    Well, at least my copy (NZ-Store) has not been updated or anything. Everything still takes forever, shitty as it was

  • FinalStar

    "It seems sort of silly to pass judgement on Real Racing 3 before its final release on the 28th"

    Sounds somewhat reasonable.

    So why did you repeatedly go around defending the not-yet-reduced wait times as basically "not bad at all" while clearly not having played under real-world circumstances (i.e. more than 30 minutes and/or without unlimited gold) and kind of telling people thinking otherwise that they had no clue themselves.

    • http://twitter.com/sabin1981 Sabin Figaro

      You're wasting your time, EA's money is deaf to logic.

  • diaskeaus

    It's good they are listening to people, but I am still not waiting 5 minutes for an oil change. iPhones were designed for user-convenience, but if I race and then have to wash my hands (or find some other thing to do for 5 minutes) it kind of defeats the purpose of being able to play when you want.

    The better option, if you have to go to the Pay-to-not-wait model is to adopt D.O.T.'s model of speeding up aquisition of reward rather than holstering gameplay for money. I still think F2P RPGs are doing it right, by focusing on vanity and profile enhancements though.

    • DEFMAD

      F2P RPG's are no better. I know you're referring to D.O.T. but i've only had experience playing KRPG's, especially gamEVIL KRPG's and in Zenonia 5 you had to pay over $30 to unlock extra bag space (which is severely needed during gameplay) for EACH character! I know this because that's what I had to do (only for one character). Plus, bosses were so difficult you had to grind tediously to get strong enough or else pay for IAP's to increase your stats. The sad part is, I'm only level 20ish, and I can see myself having a very hard time continuing to enjoy the game without any more IAP's, it's just paywall after paywall. Freemium blows. Regardless of how they do it.

  • callmericard0

    Wonder if Appspy will rerecord their review. I'm sure most Australians don't even know it's a soft launch. The forums and Facebook pages are full of hate. Whichever way you cut it this launch has been a bit of a disaster.

  • err404

    I actually liked the wait for repairs. The wait was short and it served It was good incentive to drive clean (a slap on the wrist for bad driving). I could drive some other car for a few laps in the meantime. However I am glad to see the service times reduced. Even in a premium game the concept of timers isn't bad so long as it serves game play rather than monetization.
    If this were premium game, I'd like to be able to hot lap or quick play without worrying about damage (no damage, but no rewards either).

    • JabTomcat

      The idea of an arcade part would be excellent! And it would keep people engaged in the game. +1 good sir.

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

      Changing your spark plugs has nothing to do with you driving clean. That needs repairs regardless.

  • HellzHavocz

    Still waiting for this to be in the Canadian AppStore...

  • tvittal

    The timers for waiting are back. Or is it only just me?

  • agentblank

    No repair time? Getting better firemonkey.

  • poorwealthyman

    I feel sorry for anyone who purchased a truck load of cash to speed up times, just for them to be lowered.

    Wait...no I don't. Screw them for supporting this damn scheme!

    • Hardik96

      Hacks. Hacks available everywhere. WITHOUT JAILBREAKING.

  • black forest

    I'm still gonna rate this game 1 star and talk shit about this game with anyone i know. I also have plan to release web site about this shity game to :)

    • jamespr

      You... What?

  • B30

    "It seems sort of silly to pass judgement on Real Racing 3 before its final release on the 28th,..."

    Seriously? The purpose of a demo version or a soft launch IS to get feedback, otherwise it would be all for nothing.

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

      Read the rest of the sentence, he's talking about why there won't be a review until it's out worldwide.

  • mudd

    The Titanic had a softer launch than this debacle.

    • B30

      Hopefully this IAP freemium crap will END like the Titanic.

      • Illuminerdy

        SHUT up, neckbeard.

      • http://twitter.com/iseptimus Paul

        There is something not right with you...

    • worldcitizen1919

      This game is horrible. This stop start stuff ruins it. After a race I won I had to click on 7 repairs and watch a timer countdown. Then upgrade my engine and wait again. I just want to race.

  • famousringo

    That's nice.

    Still gonna 1-star this until they put in a reasonably priced full unlock option which gets all these damn gold coins outta my face.

    • flame2542

      They can keep the coins just don't make me pay for them or the gold but I might pay 10 to get a clean game

  • black forest

    Do you know why EA and Firemonkey releasing game early in other markets? Let me explain you US iphone market i huge compared to others.Now releasing game for lover markets allowed EA to watch users reaction of this RIPOFF game. If users complain which we all did lower/ fix game but no to much so we can have game ready on 28 and start with ripoff American people. Very sad how best game become worst game ever. Like i said before i m gonna rate this once my favorite game ever 1 star and trash game in any talk i can. This game normal price need to be 6.99 unlimited and no this bs. Huge disappointment from me :(

    • Johnny101

      Can someone translate this for me please ?! :)

      • decabao

        lol did he use google translate?

  • jonn99

    FIREMONKEYS Real Racing 3 is under threat from GAMELOFT Asphalt 8. We'll see how GAMELOFT Asphalt 8 rivals against RR3.

  • jonn99

    Firemonkeys REAL RACING 3 is under threat from GAMELOFT Asphalt 8.

  • FSK_VoRteX

    IAPfree is way the go, if your jail broken install it, IAP won't be a issue after that lol

    • DizzyNBG

      i rather suggest using a cheat engine cuz if u use tweaks like IAPfree the amount of cash/gold can be seen in ur driver profile and i dont know if ea will ever check things up and probably ban ur account if u have millions of gold never bought.
      iGuardian is the way to go, imo.
      btw: i already spent ~8€ for IAPs, so its like i bought a premium game, cuz...ye its a great game at all and a lot of work was put into it. But from now on, they wont see a single penny from me.

      • FSK_VoRteX

        You can't ban a account that's not a account. Lol you don't have to sign up to play this game

      • flame2542

        Then they block your udid

      • DizzyNBG

        thats exactly what i meant, thanks. banning/prevent ur game center/apple account from being connecting with the server.

  • Johnny101

    Glad EA is making an effort. Wish they would update Battlefield Bad company 2 on iOS. It's only been two years without Multiplayer.

  • SoEntitled

    I'm entitled to have a game be made exactly how I want it to be made dammit.

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

    I want to see EA release a game that's nothing but IAP. The aim of the game is to get the most IAP tallying up the most money spent in game. Anyone at EA want to hire me to lead this project?

    • Johnny101

      Lol, can you believe there are people that spend a fortune in iAP's. why not use that money to buy an Xbox or ps3, or even some cool games on Steam.

  • worldcitizen1919

    The timers are still there.

  • worldcitizen1919

    Lets face it. This once classic game is ruined. I just can't feel enjoyment watching a timer countdown or having to click on ten repairs. It's all just meaningless grinding added to the game for $$. So, so sad.

  • worldcitizen1919

    Question: is this only the release of the freemium version? Is there going to be a premium version released?

    • flame2542

      Doubt it and miss out on the chance of selling a $99 car to a five year old good chance in hell

  • tripper54

    I have found the repair/service timers quite ok to be honest. I ponied up $2 for enough money for a second car, I can now play for over an hour switching between the two cars before hitting a wait wall. At which point it's time for a break anyway. Amazing, amazing game for a $2 spend.

  • coelers

    I don't see the problem you all have with this game. I've spent no real money and have 5 cars now. So I can play for ages and there's no waiting wall anymore. Just the first couple of hours are hard. But after you have your third car you can play for as long as you want. Btw add me on Gamecenter: Coelers

    • worldcitizen1919

      I've got 2 cars which makes life easier. 5 cars would be great.

    • decabao

      I have also 5 cars. The only bad thing is, I still have to wait, because the beginner cars are kind of useless if not upgraded.

  • worldcitizen1919

    When people stop resisting this scheme it will start appearing in every game. I hate it even with more cars. It's stupid and time wasting. As far as I'm concerned the Real Racing franchise is dead. The next IAP model will be even worse because people are agreeing to this abomination.

  • RGR

    Having played RR3 for a day now I see exactly why Firemint have done
    what they have. Adding damage to cars makes it more realistic and stops
    the ability to just barge through a pack of cars like you could in
    RR2. If you want to drive recklessly, you have to wait for your car to
    repair, and that's a good thing. It doesn't stop you playing though,
    you just jump in another car and continue racing, so the idea about not
    being able to play isn't true, the inconvenience is simply having to
    change cars. I have been playing for a day, have 4 cars, have earned
    coins (that people are complaining about having to pay for) and have not
    spent a single dollar of my own money. Works for me.

    A premium version would ruin the incentive to drive sensibly and bring back the worst aspects of RR2. So give it a go and don't give up after your first few drives, once you earn enough to buy your second car it all goes pretty smoothly.

  • Woody Jang

    I was very upset when I heard there would be time sinks built into this game, and then I remembered if you change the date and time in airplane mode you can just skip that shttttt. If they don't patch it or require an internet connection, I'll be one happy little racer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/les.lane.33 Les Lane

    ...just put your clock forward 3hrs than back again...instant fix...

  • Appvism

    Reading about this here and in the forums, i feel like i juat want to play it and see for myself! Come on uk release! The graphics do look amazing and really liked RR2.

  • ssjgoku16

    Finally! But still there are frame rate issues on ipad 3 hop that they will fix that soon

  • tripper54

    +1, I have 5 cars, over 100 gold and am saving for my first supercar...

    Once I turned off the brake assist the game has become much more tense. How reckless should I get on the corners for the sake of catching up to that car in front? I have to take repair costs into account.

    Nothing beats tearing down Mt Panorama's Conrod Straight in a big V8 and almost taking off on the crest. Add me on Game Center : tripper54

  • SmackDatButt

    It'd be great if the game would actually come out in the US store already -.-

  • jamespr

    It is really easy to dismiss the majority of the RR3 outrage when this is the general quality of comments we are seeing.

  • takemymoney EA

    I want Premium version EA. take my money!

  • Peter321

    Count me in too. I've been playing for hours today without waiting. At first it's a pain, but once you get a few cars its pretty easy to keep playing. I have not paid a single $ yet and don't expect I ever need to.

    If you don't like the initial waiting, buy one of the packs with multiple cars. Then you have paid for the game and with multiple cars the waiting is not a problem. I actually enjoy this more than RR3 because there is really an incentive to master the driving and upgrading your cars.

    • Peter321

      Of course I meant I like this more than RR2 ;-)