EA dismisses Real Racing 3 micro-transactions furore, declares "the market has spoken"

"That's just where things are going."

EA has dismissed the furore around Real Racing 3 and its controversial micro-transactions, declaring the game a resounding success.

The EA executive in charge of its mobile and social studios said "the market has spoken" in an interview with CNET.

Real Racing 3 has been heavily criticised for the way in which it uses micro-transactions. "There's a good game somewhere within Real Racing 3," Eurogamer's Martin Robinson wrote in our 3/10 review, "and there are plenty of free-to-play games that prove this model can work successfully while respecting the player. FireMonkeys, and perhaps more pertinently EA, have got that balance horribly, horribly wrong, to an extent where the business model becomes the game - with gut-wrenching results."

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Real Racing 3 has been a resounding success for EA, despite the outcry over its micro-transactions.

Despite the controversy, Real Racing 3 has proved a hit for EA. It took less than a week for downloads of the game to exceed the total for the first two games combined, and it has been the number one game in the App Store in 90 countries.

Nick Earl, vice president of the company's mobile and social studios, said Real Racing 3's success meant he felt "vindicated early" following the decision to go freemium, as EA describes the business model.

"There's no question that going freemium was the right way to go," he said.

"The vocal minority lashed out at freemium.

"We respect them and understand, but the market has spoken. That's just where things are going."

The vocal minority lashed out at freemium. We respect them and understand, but the market has spoken. That's just where things are going

Nick Earl, vice president of EA's mobile and social studios

Apparently Real Racing 3 will be a marquee game for EA for years to come, and there are no plans for Real Racing 4.

EA's had a rocky time of it in recent months. Before the SimCity disaster struck, the gargantuan mega-publisher angered gamers by slapping micro-transactions into Dead Space 3, which released earlier this year.

Then, an executive said all future EA games would include micro-transactions, before backtracking on the comment. What the company's chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen meant to say was all future mobile games would include micro-transactions.

Gears of War co-creator Cliff Bleszinski also waded into the debate, suggesting gamers vote with their wallets to ignore the charges.

"If you don't like EA, don't buy their games," Bleszinski argued. "If you don't like their micro-transactions, don't spend money on them.

"I assure you there are teams of analysts studying the numbers behind consumer behaviour over there that are studying how you, the gamer, spends his hard earned cash."

Whatever your opinion, it appears that with the success of Real Racing 3 EA's love affair with micro-transactions is set to continue.

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