By Anni Simpson on July 30, 2013 at 1:33pm
PopCap announced this week there’s going to be another delay with the highly anticipated sequel to everyone’s favorite zombie-themed tower defense.
After an initial delay this spring, “Plants vs. Zombies” was slated for release July 18, but PopCap has since postponed the game’s release a second time to give developers more time to refine the final product (as much as you can call an EA release “final,” that is). There is still no date for when the game expects to premier in the United States or Europe. However, PopCap has started a soft launch in Australia and New Zealand so that they can “[keep]” the testing pool small … because we don’t know our backend stability yet,” according to senior producer Allen Murray in an interview with Polygon.
Reasons for the overall delay include finalizing new features (e.g., different “worlds” the user can explore) and ensuring that Internet connectivity to PopCap’s servers remain stable. The last thing EA needs is to destroy another popular franchise by preventing players from even accessing the game on launch day. Murray states:
With ‘Plants vs. Zombies 2,’ we're taking advantage of a lot of newer technologies … If you're connected to the Internet, you can save your progress and share accounts across multiple devices — and we need to make sure those systems, along with our ability to stream that content to players, works
Players have never heard this before, right?
However, EA promises gamers to expect new features including “new plants that will defend your lawn through time,” “gather[ing] missing keys to play valuable side missions,” and even “Zombie chickens!” Crazy Dave even reveals his van is a time machine. “Plants vs. Zombies 2” definitely has the capacity to be a lot of fun.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be problems. There are hints that the delay may also involve setting up a system that players aren’t thrilled about. Although the iOS release will include the three worlds the player visit, it is what players can expect “at launch.” EA is infamous for in-game app purchases and extensive DLC that nickel and dime users, so why should gamers expect any different for a sequel the publisher has every reason to expect to be popular?
In addition to the potential for DLC (a low hanging fruit if EA wants it), Game Mob revealed users can unlock the worlds that already exist without completing the level if they pay a fee. There will also be in-game purchases (using in-game currency) including but not limited to coin pack, plant boosters, and even plants.
Considering EA’s history with how they handle freemium content, this deviation from the original “Plants vs. Zombies” should come as no surprise to players, and we would be hard pressed to expect that to change in light of user criticism before the U.S. and European releases … when they finally happen, of course.
EA Games Polygon Game Mob