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Real Racing 3 launches as freemium iOS app from EA

Developer Firemonkeys' highly anticipated new game "Real Racing 3" hit the iOS App Store on Thursday with a new freemium model that relies on microtransaction in-app purchases.

Real Racing 3

Real Racing 3 is a free game now available for download in the App Store, published by Electronic Arts. While previous versions of the Real Racing franchise were paid applications, EA's acquisition and merger of developers Firemint and Iron Monkey led to the new title adopting a freemium model.

While the initial game is free, certain options in the game like upgrades and repairs take time to complete. Gamers can bypass these waits by spending real money through in-app purchases, allowing EA to profit from the game while still giving it away.

Real Racing 3

Initial reaction to Real Racing 3 has been strong, with the game earning 4 and a half stars out of nearly 900 reviews. It features real cars from makers like Porsche and Lamborghini,. It also has authentic race tracks, and online play against other iOS gamers.

Players can compete in more than 900 events like cup races, eliminations, endurance challenges, and drag races. Car parts can be upgraded for maximum performance, and a variety of camera angles allow racers to fine tune their performance.

Real Racing 3

Real Racing 3 is powered by the new Mint 3 Engine, which enables persistent car damage, fully functioning rear view mirrors, and dynamic reflections.

Real Racing 3 is a 716-megabyte download, but EA advises that users have at least 2 gigabytes free on their device before installing, as it is a "highly detailed game of superior quality." The game is compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, fourth- and fifth-generation iPod touch, iPad 2, third-generation iPad, fourth-generation iPad, and iPad mini. It's also been optimized for the larger 4-inch display of the iPhone 5.