Namco Bandai has announced Ridge Racer Driftopia, a downloadable free-to-play racer from the makers of last year's Ridge Racer Unbounded.

Heading to PlayStation 3 and PC later this year, Driftopia is said to "put the series' irresistible signature drifting right at the heart of the experience", with the game's trailer suggesting that players will be returning to Unbounded's Shatter City.

The trailer also confirms that the game will be supported by microtransactions, with players able to purchase different types of vehicle packs, 'booster packs', 'repair kits' and 'XP boosts' via an in-game store.

Details on each pack's pricing have yet to be released.

"At Namco Bandai Games we are committed to embracing new business models alongside the still vital traditional retail sector," commented Namco Bandai Europe's senior vice president Olivier Comte.

"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."

Bugbear Entertainment, which developed the Flatout series and last year's Ridge Racer Unbounded, is once again driving development - but the developer suggests that its work on Driftopia won't impact development on its next major release, Next Car Game (working title).

"Work on Next Car Game continues as planned," tweeted the developer, before teasing that the game was already "in very good shape," and that it hopes to reveal more "sooner rather than later".


Source: Namco Bandai press release, Twitter