real racing 3 ss

Electronic Arts has a release date for Real Racing 3, the latest installment in its popular racing franchise. The game is scheduled for release on February 28 and will be offered for the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Android smartphones and tablets for free, a major shift in strategy for the super publisher which in 2011 alone raked in $1 billion in digital revenue.

In fact, developers say that Real Racing 3 was designed from the ground up to be a free to play experience. That right there is your undeniable proof that the freemium model is slowly but surely taking over from paid downloads…

The announcement was made on the official Firemonkeys forum:

Today we announced Real Racing 3 will be free. And yes, Real Racing 3 was designed from the ground up to be a free to play experience. We are so excited about this game and wanted it to be accessible to everyone so we didn’t want there to be any barriers to entry.

This accessibility is also what drives the awesome new Time Shifted Multiplayer feature, in that you can play competitive multiplayer with anyone any time, and they don’t need to be online with you at the same time.

Real Racing 3 being a freemium title means that not all cars and tracks will be accessible for free, though there will be plenty free content to keep you going:

At launch we have 46 licensed vehicles covering 3 classes, a 22 car grid, real world tracks, 8 varied event types and 900+ events. This means hundreds of hours of gameplay for free making this one of the most expansive games ever on mobile. We plan to continue to add more free and exciting content with every update.

Nick Earl, general manager of EA’s All Play label, told Cnet:

We looked at it closely and the market was demanding games with this model. It’s opportunity to get it in front of far more people. The monetization had to be unaggressive as opposed to overly harsh and tight.

So what about those hidden in-purchase costs?

For those spending hours at the game, they will opt to spend a little money on the game. We think that’s a fair exchange.

EA has high expectation because it’s a high-profile game and everyone likes free.

Overall, it’s a worthy successor and a game that’s a no-brainer to try out because it’s free. We feel like it will do well and turn heads. There’s a potential viral (factor) with a game that looks this good.

Real Racing 3 was announced on August 2, 2012 with a jaw-dropping trailer.

The game should keep you to the edge of your seat with its console-grade graphics, the addition of real race tracks and cars such as Porsche, Audi and Dodge and lots more.

Here’s an excerpt from a blurb:

REAL CARS
Gamers will enjoy graphics that have been meticulously hand crafted to produce photorealistic visuals as they zoom around in cars from manufacturers like Porsche, Dodge and Audi.

REAL TRACKS
For the first time in the series, Real Racing 3 will also include a full lineup of real world tracks from the top names around the world including Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Indianapolis Motor Speedway and Silverstone. With a 22 car grid, gamers will be able to pit themselves against 21 other drivers in one race.

REAL RACING EXPERIENCE
Fans can experience the glory of championship racing on real tracks recreating the full race-day pressure and environment in a game that harnesses the full power of mobile hardware to produce a beautiful racing environment.

A developer’s diary video offers a behind-the-scenes look into the technology that went into designing the realistic driving experience.

Real Racing 3 is being produced by Electronic Arts and developed by its newly formed Firemonkeys Studio, which is the merger of Firemint studios and Iron Monkey studios.

For more information, head over to the official game page on Facebook.