Free-to-play Ridge Racer enters closed beta

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Namco Bandai is giving consumers the chance to be among the first to test Ridge Racer Driftopia, the first free-to-play entry in the series.

The game was announced back in April and enters closed beta on Steam today.

It is being developed for PS3 and PC by Bugbear Entertainment, the team behind the most recent retail outing Ridge Racer Unbounded, and is due to launch by the end of the year.

Players can sign up to take part in the beta at

Driftopia focuses on the series' familiar arcade style of racing as well as the destruction and shortcuts introduced in Unbounded.

Skilled players will earn experience that will help level up their cars and earn them booster cards for extra power. There will also be online leaderboards.