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
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!