Free-to-play model pulls in the punters despite 'vocal minority'

Real Racing 3 ‘vindicates’ EA’s microtransaction push

EA has been vindicated by its free-to-play strategy for Real Racing 3, in the wake of positive sales of its in-app purchases.

When Real Racing 3 was released, it was attacked by consumers for having excessive microtransactions.

Electronic Arts vice president of mobile and social Nick Earl told CNet that despite the fact that a “vocal minority lashed out at freemium”, the game is doing relatively well.

Although he didn’t detail the profitability of the game or the exact number of downloads, Earl added that he felt “vindicated” by the finances.

EA has also released an infographic (see below) showing what Real Racing has managed to achieve so far. The game was the number one free app on the App Store in 90 countries, and downloads for its first week exceeded those of the previous two titles combined.

“There’s no question that going freemium was the right way to go,” he said. “The vocal minority lashed out at freemium. We respect them and understand, but the market has spoken. That’s just where things are going.

“Our expectation is that this is a service that can live for years.”

Earl added that players shouldn’t expect a Real Racing 4 anytime soon, as EA intends for Real Racing 3 to be the series’ principal title.

Microtransactions have been a hot issue for EA. At the end of February, EA was widely criticised by vocal gamers after its CFO said microtransactions would be part of all its future games going forward. The statement caused enough furore for Cliff Bleszinski to post a long blog in EA’s defence. Then, earlier this month, the publisher backpedalled and said it won’t include the payment model in every game.

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