Feb 13, 2013
EA and Firemonkeys (the combined studios formerly known as Firemint and Iron Monkeys) have announced that Real Racing 3 is going to release on February 28th worldwide. For Android owners this means that barring technical difficulties, the game should be releasing on the same day as the iOS version does. Now, this isn’t a guarantee as plenty of games have suffered last-minute delays: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City notably was delayed, Temple Run 2 had to wait an additional week, even indie title Syder Arcade HD saw a short delay in its Android release. So be hopeful but ready for a letdown, Android fans.
The game is slowly starting to make its way into the hands of both journalists and players. Editor-in-chief Jeff Scott has posted lengthy impressions and and a hands-on video of the iOS version to 148Apps that’s well worth a read. The hands on video is below. The game is currently available in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia for iOS, meaning that some people will get to test the game out early. I have been able to play the game and immediately, it features stunning visuals on the latest hardware, while the game is immediately quite familiar to fans of the series.
The AI is actually compiled from real-world player performance as part of its Time Shifted Multiplayer features, so races take place against actual players asynchronously, though unlike a ghost in a racing game, their performance can actually be impacted. The fact that their actual in-game names are displayed lends credence to this system.
Now, one of the more controversial aspects of Real Racing 3 is that it is free-to-play. The previous releases have come out at previous price points. There is a two currency system, with money used to buy cars, items, and repairs. It’s those repairs that are powered by the second currency of coins, however: they can be sped up, much like in a social game, by using coins. A 15-minute repair costs 2 coins, for example. The iOS version features at least one video ad that can be watched in exchange for coins, and there is an available offer wall for free gold.. Achieving the balance between effective monetization and satisfying players is a tricky one, often achieved by huge download numbers as seen by NimbleBit’s games and the Temple Run titles. Real Racing has cachet behind it, so it could pull that balance off, but this is not a low-budget title. It will need to make lots of money. Its monetization will be a hot-button topic.
It promises to be a long couple of weeks for gamers looking to get their hands on this hotly-anticipated title, and we will hopefully aim to have a review shortly after it’s available, and to cover any news that pops up in the interim for the biggest game of 2013 so far.
UPDATE: Well, look what we have here: an Instagram of the game running on a Nexus 10.