After waiting more than four years to get their hands on a new Plants vs. Zombies title, gamers finally got another chance to kill the living dead with aggressive garden plants this summer with “Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time.” By mid-September, the game had been downloaded more than 25 million times, with players racking up more than 140 million hours of gameplay in the process.
“It’s About Time,” it seems, was worth the wait. But even the most dedicated Plants vs. Zombies fans couldn’t help but notice, something was different. The once-premium game is now free-to-play — a “try it before you buy it” introduction that eventually hits up players for cash to continue.. Meanwhile, EA revealed a console-based multiplayer shooter PvZ spin-off, “Garden Warfare” . The game resembled Call of Duty more than the original Plants vs. Zombies tower defense. Not to mention brand-new creatives were involved during its development.
Gaming in 2013 is a very different beast than it was in 2009, when PopCap released the original “Plants Vs. Zombies” on the PC. Mohan Rajagopolan, senior game designer on “Plants vs. Zombies 2,” and Tony Leamer, franchise business director on the series. When PopCap was an independent studio(ever since its acquisition by EA in 2011) “Plants vs. Zombies” has started thinking big ” As for the Mario Franchise, There’s a million different Marios, but there’s also a core platformer.
“I think a new Mario certainly has franchise potential, but not on the same scale as Mario” – Michael Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.… Read the rest
Plants Vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time has finally been released for the world to enjoy. Let us start with some bad news, for now the game is only available for iOS! So all of those hoping to play it on their PCs and Android smartphones will just have to keep waiting and hope that the makers of the game, PopCap Game Studios decides to make the ridiculously popular game available on other platforms.
The game follows up from the end of the first one. But it involves many changes – from a large increase in the number of plants and zombies to some pretty in dept gameplay changes. There is a new substance available in game – plant food. Use it to supercharge your plants and cause havoc amongst approaching zombie waves. But the major change is to make the game a “freemium” game. What this means is that the fans will not have to buy the game rather the game will have in game purchases. PopCap has balanced this system very well and the in fact the game can be played without spending any money at all, it will just take longer.
As any of the die hard fans of the game will say – the longer the game is the better!
PopCap Games has released Plants Vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time in Australia and New Zealand first to test the changes it has made over the previous game. For the most part the game has been well received. This time around the game is going to be free to play and PopCap has devised an in game buying system to make money. Now when most developers come up with such “freemium” concepts it means that to actually progress through the game players will need to spend real money, but PopCap has come up with a remarkable balance to make a truly brilliant gameplay experience, whether you pay for it or not.
PopCap has developed the game with all the basics of free to play games, with in game currency and premium boosts but has none of the drawbacks. For example, plant food is dropped by glowing zombies and players can drag and drop it onto plants to temporarily supercharge plants. Like any free to play game, it can also be bought anytime during a level for a 1000 coins; while this could have forced players to spend money on hard levels; and the game is much harder than its predecessor the drops are actually enough to not force players to spend money. Players get three plant food and that is the maximum that can be carried, so it makes sense to use at least one as soon as possible and since they don’t carry over between levels, use them all during the final wave of Zombies. This adds to the fun of the game because instead of using the same plants like in Plants Vs Zombies players will now want to use all the plants if only to see what they do when supercharged!
Crazy Dave’s time travel experiment is the basic premise of the game and from it stems the biggest change over the previous version. It makes the players battle zombies over three eras; ancient Egypt which has tombstones that block plant fire, the pirate seas that has zombies swinging from one ship to the next to get at your brains and the wild west where players can use mine carts to move plants up and down to tackle zombie waves! The game also has many more side games and puzzles apart from the critical path of the game, encouraging players to players spend more time saving their brains from zombies.
While the game seems really well balanced right now, it is possible that PopCap will actually change its formula before the final worldwide release of the game. Let us hope that they don’t spoil the delicate balance it seems to have achieved right now!
When PopCap first released Plants Vs Zombies they expected it to be just another indie game, little did they know that they had just started a franchise that would be probably be the first Zombie game that parents like as much as their kids! The game that was first released in 2009 has now become a cult icon and has already sold 120 million copies worldwide! With the reveal of its second version Plants Vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time, PopCap is actually making a pun, the game has a time travel element and fans have been waiting for years for PopCap to finally come up with a sequel.
What is really amazing is that the game has become so popular that PopCap is actually using it as a platform for some pretty nice community programmes. For example, PopCap has been getting reams of fan mail about the game – one from a mother of a boy who has cancer. In response the producer put together a package of Plants Vs Zombie goodies, including an advance copy of the new game! The kid’s mum mailed back that the he was so happy that he was dancing!
More impressive is that the developers reached out to the American Dental Association for a campaign that encouraged parents to print and hand out free download codes for game content instead of candy. In fact there is even a reputed university conducting tests to analyse the beneficial effects of the game for those suffering from depression. Parents say that the plants are cute and even the zombies are kind of goofy and not the blood thirsty variety. The game comes of more as slapstick comedy than violent.
This is a brilliant example of a company with a modicum of public conscience, let us hope more game developers follow the example and make a zombie game that parents like as much as their kids.… Read the rest
As anyone who has played the original Plants Vs Zombies will know, it is addictive. And not giving an addict his fix can have disastrous consequences. Humour aside, many gamers are disappointed by PopCap Games announcing thatPlants Vs Zombies 2: It’s About Timewill be released this summer – because it’s has already been delayed from the 18th of July and just saying that it will be released in summer has made many unhappy about the vagueness of it all. PopCap has not even stated whether it will be in the middle of summer or towards the end. What we can take from this is that fans of the game will just have to be a bit more patient.
The game has seen a soft launch in Australia and New-Zealand that instantly saw it shoot to the top of free game lists. PopCap maintains that this soft release was to analyse the gamers’ reception of the game and conduct more tests. PopCap has emphasised that it is working out the kinks in its server capacity, in game store and cloud saving capabilities.
All that fans can do in the meantime is watch the trailers that have been put online, they show a game that seems like it could take the franchise to a new level of fun and wait patiently.