‘Real Racing 3’ is why freemium games need to die

Or at the very least, is a textbook example of why major publishers should not be allowed to make such games.

EA

EA


So Real Racing 3 finally came out last week. Been playing it all weekend. The verdict: you will not find a more beautiful game on your iPhone. Nor one that is as evil. Allow me to explain:

First you have the racing part, which is awesome. Not only are the visuals seriously on par with what you’d find on the 360 and PSS, but controls are actually really good. Granted, the assisted braking helps a lot, but I had no problems tiling my phone to make a corner, unlike 99.99% of all other iOS racing games that use a similar mechanic.

But when a race is over is when the problems begin. Basically, your car is super sensitive and prone to breakage. Which means you need to repair the damn thing a lot. Which not only costs in-game currency, but real world time. Seriously, you need to wait two minutes for repairs to take place…

EA

EA


The only reason for this is to nickel and dime you to death. The thing is, you can bypass the whole waiting thing but offering up some gold. Which is earned when playing the game, much like in-game currency, but the interval is nowhere near even, if you don’t feel like waiting for repairs and upgrades, you’ll be running out.

But, you can always buy gold with real world money. And check out the actual prices EA wants you to pay…

EA

EA


By the way, you can also use real money to purchase in-game money as well…

EA

EA


iOS games have helped to popularize the “freemium” model, in which the initial game is free, but to enhance the experience, mostly to cut to the chase with certain things, you open up your virtual wallet. This is how the publisher is able to actually turn a profit.

There are plenty of examples of it being done well, mostly from small publishers, like Imangi Studios, makers of Temple Run 2. But whenever large publishers do it, like EA or Square-Enix, it’s simple a clusterf*ck.

Real Racing 3 is a “free” game. One that has $500 worth of microtransactions.

The most important thing to know is how, if you have a child in your household, whatever you do: never lend them you iPhone or iPod Tough that has a freemium game. Why? Because he might be like that one British kid who was able to rack up $2,550 worth of in-app purchases in just 10 minutes. Because, as we all know, kids hate waiting.