EA Real Racing 3 Freemium Updates before World Wide Release Feb 28th
Real Racing 3 was released in Australia and New Zealand earlier this month before it's release world wide on February 28th. As I live in Australia I took it upon myself to be a guinea pig and test out the controversial Freemium model EA have chosen to use. Firstly I want to point out that the game is fantastic! The detail and quality of the game is totally top notch, but I want to concentrate on the waiting times within the game without spending any money on IAP's.
I've been playing RR3 now for 3 weeks and EA have been experimenting by tweaking the wait times via an App Store update and some stealth updates it seems. In the first version players had to wait up to an hour to repair the cars body damage and up to 4 hours for engine repairs. Both of these repairs cost money that you earn from winning races. If you would like to speed up the repairs you can use gold coins earned from leveling up with Fame points.
Last week EA released an update on the App Store which made changes to the controversial wait times that were gaining countless negative reviews. The repair wait times on body damage was removed, which was fantastic! Sadly EA decided to increase the wait times for engine repairs up to 9 hours. This was incredibly frustrating making the game barely playable.
I must add that the more cars you own the more gameplay you get from a session. I currently own 4 cars and get about 30 - 40 minutes gameplay before all of my cars need to be repaired. So i would close the app and do something else till 9 hours later all my cars were ready to roll.
Today I loaded up the game to take my new Porsche for a spin. After 20 minutes (3 races) my car was wrecked and ready to be repaired. I was expecting the usual 9 hours wait but was pleasantly surprised to see only a 2 hour wait time. This included 2 upgrades I purchased.
Going by the reviews on the App Store many people are angry at the decision to take such a large franchise Freemium. It does seems like EA are listening to feedback and tweaking the game on the fly before it's world release.
In my opinion I was angry at first as I don't mind forking out $10 for a high quality game. As the game has changed over the past few weeks I'm starting to really enjoy taking a break and dare I say it makes the games actually feel more realistic.
The Freemium model confuses me as most people with iOS devices fork out between $300 to $1000AUD for the unit itself, so $10 shouldn't really break the bank. Why would they aim the game towards people who can't afford to pay $10 and then expect them to buy the expensive IAP's?
Hopefully EA keep listening so gamers actually play the game. It would be a real shame to see such a quality game be deleted from millions of home screens due to excessive wait times.
Once the game hits the App Store let me know what you think.