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Real Racing 3, In-App Purchases, EA and CliffyB

The internet is a funny thing. Where else can you read about people you’ve never met talking about games you’d never play and then participate in the conversation as if somehow it has anything to do with you?

Anyway, a few days ago Cliff Bleszinski (aka CliffyB) was epic trolling, and made a few ridiculous claims. First, he says that the micropayment in-app purchase game model is just like the old arcade days where every play was a quarter, a statement so rife with silliness and that ignores so many facts I just don’t know where to begin. I’d probably start my rebuttal with “that model only worked because the games were awesome, and arcades are dead.”

<@bVork> imagine giving a kid in 1980 the choice between paying 25 cents per play of Tempest, or $20 to own the game and play it forever. Which would they choose?

He also said that EA wasn’t so bad, they’re just like Valve, and he doesn’t get why there’s so much fanboy hate. Now, that’s either trolling or PR, ’cause no one really could make an argument that EA and Valve are anything alike. Most days you’d have a hard time denying EA was actively evil with a straight face.

NoEA

Which brings us nicely to the recent news about EA’s release of Real Racing 3, an iOS/Android racing game that’s free to play, in the same way that access to the fairgrounds is free but anything fun is going seriously cost you. This is a game where you need to pay in-game currency to maintain your car that’s constantly wearing down, and these maintenance procedures lock you out of that vehicle for a period of time that grows as the game progresses. Naturally, you can pay some more in-game currency, or real money, to skip this wait period. This isn’t new, a lot of games use this model, and basically you’re paying for your impatience. If you’re enjoying yourself and want to keep playing, pay up. A fine way to make money, if you can get away with it.

But then, you can also buy upgrades for your car, with both kinds of money, and these upgrades also take time to install. So let’s say you pay real dollars to buy fake dollars, and you buy an upgrade for your car. EA’s got your money now, right? But they want moooooar: the upgrade takes time to install, and so you can pay more for that. Pay to get it, pay to use it right away. I call that double-dipping, and I’m Internet Outraged.

According to 148apps, you can either play for a minumum of 472 hours, or pay $503 real dollars to finish the game. They go on to detail the number of things you could buy instead, for the same cost, like an Xbox 360, Forza, all of its in-game purchases, and a TV to play it on.

So yeah, Mr. Bleszinski, you gotta be trolling us. And well done, sir. I almost thought you were serious.

2 thoughts on “Real Racing 3, In-App Purchases, EA and CliffyB

  1. You know you can play teh entire game without paying a cent? ive played 40 hours and unlocked 27 cars, complete 45% of the events, haven’t given ea any money. its a fun game.

    1. Yeah, but that’s 500-900 hours of grinding. Gosh, I hope you love the crap out of it, ’cause you’re not seeing the end of it until at least June. =)

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