There's really not much to be said other than that Namco Bandai announced today the development of Ridge Racer: Driftopia, a free-to-play racer with in-game transactions. The game is planned for release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 later this year. Um... RIIIIDGE RAAAACER? I've got nothin'.
Here's a statement from Namco Bandai VP of Marketing Carlson Choi:
"The free-to-play and digital gaming space presents an incredible opportunity for NAMCO BANDAI Games to offer its illustrious roster of titles to a new and ever expanding audience. We’re excited to have RIDGE RACER Driftopia take NAMCO BANDAI into this constantly growing sector."
Electronics Arts has been touting its popular free-to-play racing title Real Racing 3 as proof of their recent successes. Though it has been shown that the game's microtransactions stack up to more than $500 in cost. Namco Bandai certainly isn't wrong in that there's opportunity there, but I'd encourage them to be wary.
I'm not a fan of most racing games and I'm also not a fan of the free-to-play business model, but the least I can say is I'll probably try Ridge Racer: Driftopia out. I mean, why not? It's free to play after all. Expect more details soon.