Electronic Arts is basking in the glory of a dream debut of its real racing simulator Real Racing 3, which has been downloaded more times than the earlier two versions of the game combined!
The brouhaha that has been caused by the freemium model of the game notwithstanding, the game is being lapped up by avid gamers and racing enthusiasts alike. However, there is some heartbreak in store for the fact that Real Racing 4 isn't on the cards anytime soon.
One would be amazed to know that as many as 350 million races have been completed within days of its release last month. Game lovers are completing 25 million games every single day, which is quite impressive. It doesn't stop at that - gamers are spending 25 minutes on the game daily, and close to 14 million playing hours have been clocked till now.
The popularity of the game can be gauged from the fact that it is trending on the Numero Uno spot in the iOS store in 90 countries around the globe and ranks number 10 in the US store.
Freemium model sparks controversy
The game works on the Freemium model, meaning thereby users can download it for free, but have to shell out few bucks every time they want an upgrade or in-game purchases. Players can opt for vehicle upgrades by making a specific payment.
Electronic Arts defends its decision of trying to milk a tremendously popular game, which ironically, has worked in its favor. "There's no question that going freemium was the right way to go," says Nick Earl, vice president of mobile and social studios at the company. While the company has declined to reveal the exact numbers, Nick feels vindicated by the move.
"The vocal minority lashed out at freemium," says Nick. "We respect them and understand, but the market has spoken. That's just where things are going."
Going by the latest trends in the gaming industry, freemium model has worked to the advantage of producers, with The Simpsons: Tapped Out being a stand-out success. The manufacturers keep making money with freemium content as in-app purchases become a source for long-term revenue.
No Plans for Real Racing 4
At the same time, however, there are no immediate plans for Real Racing 4. Nick maintains that Real Racing 3 is going to be a marquee game for the company for long term. "Our expectation is that this is a service that can live for years," he says.