Although Namco Bandai's Western studios didn't seem to have much faith in free-to-play games a year ago, the company appears to have changed its mind somewhat, with 2013 marking high-profile free-to-play releases for the publisher.
Namco Bandai's senior vice president for Europe Olivier Comte had previously said
at the beginning of 2012 that "Free-to-play games can't be high quality," although he did add that the company was considering all potential business models.
Today the company revealed Ridge Racer Driftopia
, the first free-to-play (or "Free-to-Drift, as Namco Bandai is calling it) title in the Ridge Racer
series for PlayStation 3 and PC.
And just last month, a free-to-play version of the classic Pac-Man
was released for mobile devices. Comte says that as the times change, his company must commit itself to embracing new business models.
"Free-to-play is playing an increasingly important role," he added, "so it's very exciting to be bringing one of our most successful franchises to the free-to-play space for everyone to enjoy."