Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
August 30, 2014
arrowPress Releases
August 30, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


EA tones down  Real Racing  free-to-play elements after user backlash
EA tones down Real Racing free-to-play elements after user backlash
February 15, 2013 | By Mike Rose

February 15, 2013 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    12 comments
More: Smartphone/Tablet, Design



Electronic Arts' Firemonkeys studio has toned down the freemium elements in its latest Real Racing mobile series outing, after a notable backlash from players.

Real Racing 3 is the first free-to-play installment in the series, allowing players to download and play for free while offering in-app purchases, compared to the previous single upfront payment model for Real Racing 1 & 2.

As noted by Pocket Gamer, the game features cars that can only be bought with real money, with at least one vehicle going for the equivalent of $100. Players were also required to wait in real-time for their car to repair itself after a set number of races, unless they are willing to fork out cash to repair instantly.

However, a new update to the game today addresses the latter point, after numerous players took to the App Store to post 1-star reviews in response to the various in-app purchases that Real Racing 3 offers.

Cars are now repaired instantly, while the "service wait time" that occurs after every few races has been reduced by around two thirds.

Notably, the game is currently only available on iOS devices in Australia and New Zealand as part of a soft launch -- it will be released to the rest of the world on February 28.


Related Jobs

AtomJack
AtomJack — Seattle, Washington, United States
[08.29.14]

Level Designer
GREE International
GREE International — Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
[08.29.14]

Senior Game Designer
SAE Institute
SAE Institute — San Jose, California, United States
[08.29.14]

User Interface Design Instructor
SAE Institute
SAE Institute — San Jose, California, United States
[08.29.14]

Compositing Instructor










Comments


[User Banned]
profile image
This user violated Gamasutra’s Comment Guidelines and has been banned.

Maria Jayne
profile image
It's an alien concept to me, being forced to wait to play a game because of a timer. It only convinces me to play a different game. I don't think "I want to play this so much I will pay money" I think "screw this, you don't want me playing that's fine" I play a different game.

You'd think it would be more sensible to let people keep playing, because if you stop them, they can spend the time looking for an alternative game rather than realizing they are enjoying the game so much they may as well buy something.

Henrik Strandberg
profile image
@Maria - an alien concept to have cooldowns?

I'm still somewhat bemused that many gamers see the possibility of getting rid of cooldowns for cash is a BAD thing.

Kaitlyn Kincaid
profile image
@Henrik Strandberg

Cooldowns are one thing, being unable to play for an extended period of time is another.

When I'm enjoying a game, and it tells me "pay, or you can't play for X hours!" the very next thing I do is stop playing. It breaks my enjoyment and drives me to their competition (either in the same genre or another game type entirely)

Tom Baird
profile image
The article is doing some funny math. If the car is 800 gold, and 1000 gold costs $99.99, the car is obviously not $100, it's $80. The article even mentions that spending $99.99 leaves you with 200 gold extra.

The price is still ridiculously high, but that's no reason to sensationalize and inflate the numbers...

Ramin Shokrizade
profile image
If players had an option to pay, one time, to have all the time limits removed, then that would make sense. This, of course, assuming that the one time payment is reasonable. EA seems addicted to whale hunting though, making prices super high on the false belief that only a few percent of players are willing to pay, and that those that do are totally lacking in self control. It is a perverse view of their customer base.

Carlo Delallana
profile image
I always wondered about this in F2P games, it's optimized to monetize whales while at the same time optimized to drive away players who wouldn't pay at all even if the experience is great. Is this design a way to reduce the signal/noise ratio when it's time to interpret your metrics?

Trent Tait
profile image
You need to revisit SWTOR. EA really hit the money there. Quite a number of people have spent in excess of $1000 on the gambling packs and still not got what they wanted. Not only that, lots of non-whales are spending $40 no worries to buy the ugliest vehicles and armour.

Carlo Delallana
profile image
@Trent - where can we find published data around your figures? I'm really curious because I do believe aggressive F2P design is really about optimizing for whales and driving away freeloaders simultaneously.

Trent Tait
profile image
@Carlo I have no idea about published data. I'm speaking from a players perspective, where I've seen several players complain about having spent huge sums of money and recieving garbage, then watching the GTN (auction house) be flooded with items they are trying to sell. I have little reason to doubt the people who said they did that. There are a couple in my guild that have excess money have themselves spent hundreds on it.

Carlo Delallana
profile image
Very interesting. There's always the PR line about how users are spending all this money because they are clearly having fun and they are super engaged. But just because you spend a lot of money on something it doesn't mean you are actually doing it for enjoyment. I spend money on gas, more now than when I was younger, but that doesn't mean it's the most enjoyable part of my driving experience.

Jeff Murray
profile image
Another example of free to play gone completely mad. Game design overruled by a monetization system, isn't it? Urgh. I call free to play Manipuware.


none
 
Comment: