Free-to-play Ridge Racer revealed

Unbounded developer Bugbear working on downloadable Driftopia for PlayStation 3 and PC to launch later this year.

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Namco Bandai today announced Ridge Racer Driftopia, a free-to-play downloadable racing game from Unbounded developer Bugbear Entertainment. The game will launch "later in 2013" for the PC and PlayStation 3.

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Gamers will be able to purchase additional items through in-game microtransactions, though these were not detailed at any length. No further game details were divulged.

In a statement, Namco Bandai senior vice president Olivier Comte said that in addition to continued support for the "vital" traditional retail sector, the company is committed to embracing new business models, like free-to-play.

"Free-to-play is playing an increasingly important role, so it's very exciting to be bringing one of our most successful franchises to the free-to-play space for everyone to enjoy," he said.

During a European games conference last year, Comte criticized free-to-play games, saying they "can't be high-quality." He did, however, make clear that Namco is willing to consider all funding models for future games.

In addition to Ridge Racer Driftopia, Bugbear is working on a "full-contact" demolition derby game for the PC and yet-to-be-announced platforms.

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