And Mulch More: Plants vs Zombies 2 Mere Months Away

By Alec Meer on March 27th, 2013 at 10:00 am.

Please don't make Tallnut a microtransaction

Happy face: PopCap’s Plants vs Zombies 2 will apparently arrive this Summer. I love PvZ. I want more PvZ.

Worried face: PopCap now belong to EA, who want to put microtransactions in everything they can. I’m crossing fingers, toes, unmentionables and internal organs that PvZ2 can somehow escape this disease and just be a lovely, complete little game of its own.

Release date news comes via an official press release, which sadly holds no detail on the as-yet unseen casual tower defence sequel beyond “Plants vs. Zombies 2, the sequel to the original blockbuster game, is slated to launch in early summer.”

In addition to that is PvZ Adventures, a Facebook thing. I’m not going to lie and pretend I feel anything other than contempt for the prospect, but there’s the summary anyway: “PvZ Adventures will present players with a wild and humorous series of “road-trips,” traveling near and far to thwart the zombie invasion in a variety of settings. Players will also be able to send hordes of zombies to their Facebook friends, a thoughtful gesture sure to be appreciated (and reciprocated). New zombie and plant types, new ways of obtaining, cultivating and deploying plant defenses, and leaderboards are among the other new features in PvZ Adventures.”

Also, “We like to think we’re creating a brand new twist on the classic Plants vs. Zombies that is the most social, shareable and expansive Plants vs. Zombies experience ever.”

So yeah, it’ll work in exactly the same waiting/fleecing/nagging way as every other shitting Facebook game under the sun, then. I’m sure it’ll be quite pretty though. In fact, here’s a screenshot:

N.B., if you’re a lazy reader, that is Plants vs Zombies Adventures for Facebook, not Plants vs Zombies 2. They are different games. The cows in the field are far away.

Indeed, pretty. But from that screenshot alone I can count at least four different ways the game will try to persuade us to pay.

Why yes, I am in an absolutely foul mood today. Thanks for noticing.

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53 Comments »

  1. Belsameth says:

    Oh, you’re in a foul mood? To me, it seems like the only sensible response to (almost) *any* facebook “game”,k even if it’s PvZ.

  2. rustybroomhandle says:

    I am assuming this is not designed by George Fan and music not by Shigi?

    • Premium User Badge

      RedViv says:

      Whatever did become of that sorry situation? I lost track, and no big site seems to have followed up on what was then (and still seems to be) mere rumours.

    • djbriandamage says:

      Correct – George Fan, designer of PvZ and Insanaquarium, was inexplicably laid off from Popcap. If you don’t know why this is such a tragedy check out his brilliant GDC talk on how to make the perfect tutorial:

      http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1015541/How-I-Got-My-Mom

      Is Laura Shigihara not making the soundtrack? That’s a tragedy as well. I loved her soundtrack.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        If I remember correctly he was laid off within a couple of days of PvZ 2 being announced.

      • Fenix says:

        After I played To The Moon Shigihare became one of my favourites, I really hope she’s back for PVZ2.

  3. MuscleHorse says:

    After all this ridiculous talk of Peggle being Popcap’s finest hour it is good to hear news of their true masterpiece. Pretty much the only zombie based game that interests me anymore.

  4. Hoaxfish says:

    Simcity (amongst other games) pissed off the hardcore fans… I wonder if this PvZ is an attempt to piss off the casual audience as well.

    • bfandreas says:

      Believe me: There’s nothing casual about trying to get over 1000 waves in the endless mode. And a lot of theorycrafting has been done for that game.

      PvZ iz srs bzns.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Stense says:

    I take a zero tolerance approach to anyone who sends me game requests and spam on Facebook. As much as I love PvZ, that adventure game will be no different. When a Facebook game comes along that isn’t a cynical click baiting nag fest laden with unreasonable microtransaction, then I may reconsider my policy on implicit Facebook game scepticism.

    [Not saying microtransactions are inherently bad, just unreasonablely excessive or pointless ones, like in every Facebook game ever.]

    Also, Plants vs Zombies 2: Yay!

    • Thants says:

      I’ll say it. Microtransactions are inherently bad.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        I like the idea of microtranactions for content in some scenarios.

        For example, what if I could configure my browser to pay RPS 2 cents for every article of theirs that I read? I’d do that. I like everything about that arrangement. Or maybe if I’m a control freak i could have a button to click after “that was a good one” and then the fee is sent.

        Microtransactions to purchase a small part of a larger thing that you’re being suckered into, where you’re going to be manipulated into purchasing another small part, all of which are inherently arbitrary and manipulative? no. This kind of thing probably requires regulation.

  6. Spacewalk says:

    I don’t see how this could work.

  7. Mario Figueiredo says:

    Never really liked Plants Vs. Zombies. Won’t like this one for sure either. In any case, with my boycott on EA, I wouldn’t be getting it anyways.

    Didn’t know though, until just now, Popcap had been bought. I know this company since they were doing online java chat-poker-like games. A shame really.

    • Drake Sigar says:

      With EA’s recent run, I’m not even going to bother assuming there’s a possibility that they won’t ruin Plants Vs Zombies 2.

  8. Jams O'Donnell says:

    I would imagine that the microtransaction situation will be similar to the mobile versions of PvZ, and that if you don’t want to spend your natural life trying to farm gold coins you’ll have to buy coins in order to unlock the outrageously-overpriced (in fantasy gold coin currency) minigame modes. e.g. a quick glance on my phone shows that you need 150,000 coins to unlock the vase breaker mode (which is probably my favourite). I think in my time with the game I’ve probably earned around 20,000.

    On the other hand: more PvZ! Yay!

    • bfandreas says:

      Hang on. Wasn’t it trivial to unlock those minigames in the version I bought for a tenner on PC?
      This is revolting.

      • Jams O'Donnell says:

        It’s worse than that — it used to be trivial on mobile versions too until an update added a bunch of microtransaction stuff like this.

        • fish99 says:

          I wonder if that applies to the android version I got with the Humble Mobile Bundle yesterday. Hope not.

    • TheTingler says:

      Yep, was going to point out the mobile version too. Now it’s loaded with microtransactions… and if you buy the HD iPad, loaded with crashing too. Most people can’t play it past the title screen anymore.

  9. Tony M says:

    So International Stop Hating Things Day is officially over?

  10. Zorn says:

    Facebook does this to people, setting them into a foul mood. While transitioning your
    mood they’ll show some ads, so you can go out and retail therapy yourself.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Schmudley says:

    Wait, I thought EA had openly admitted to having second thoughts about putting micro-transactions in everything?

    Or was that just wishful thinking?

    • Burning Man says:

      That was the PR team trying to pretend that the CEO was anything but blasé about the whole affair.

    • meepmeep says:

      They backtracked to say they meant all social/mobile games, rather than just all games. As this has a mobile version and a social app, I think we can expect it to be in the included list.

      • Thants says:

        It will only be in social games. However, all games are now considered social games.

  12. apocraphyn says:

    They just changed their rhetoric. The bloke that said they’re going to put micro-transactions into everything backpedalled, after realising he had committed a bit of a faux pas. Doesn’t mean they won’t still put micro-transactions into everything.

    *Edit* – In response to you, Schmudley.

  13. MeestaNob says:

    Alec, I tried to send you a hug but the spam filter ate it.

  14. Danda says:

    PvZ is a PERFECT game. Even without EA, producing a worthy sequel would be very hard.

    But with 2013′s EA in charge, well… I really have a bad feeling about this.

  15. Premium User Badge

    MajorManiac says:

    Wallet Vs Micro_Payments

  16. guygodbois00 says:

    Jesus Zombie on a pogo stick! What have they done with this game? Well, I’m not playing this, free or not.

  17. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    I am not sure whether to embrace or fear the coming of the sequel to the game which had Lady Smingleigh glued to her laptop/phone/iPad playing a game for uncountable hours. It was the first time she ever realised what it is I see in these electromonical entertainments.

  18. cwoac says:

    Give the presence of IAP in the PvZ IOS ver. I suspect that it’s pretty likely.
    On the other hand, the IAP in that version were both
    a. discrete
    and
    b. fairly optional*

    Which in my mind is about the best you can hope for in these things.

    the only things which cost serious in game $ are the extra levels for the mini-games. While the costs for these are fairly steep (50-150k per game), it doesn’t actually take that long to earn while playing. Esp. on endless or last stand.

  19. El_Emmental says:

    Popcap is an empty shell now, they fired anyone who voiced their concern about the “changes” EA made regarding the company and its projects. Plants vs Zombies 2 will be an average game crippled with micro-transactions.

    I just hope the ex-employees of Popcap will get around making their own indie studio and make excellent games like Peggle and PvsZ again.

  20. Moraven says:

    They took so long to capitalize on the popularity of PvZ.

    There was unlicensed merchandise flooding the field until finally Popcap started to make some items. Look at Angry Birds. Its everywhere. Popcap had a chance to be similar (but probably not as big) to Angry Birds but missed their chance.

    Now EA puts out some crap Facebook game that looks like every other facebook game. Farm building, energy and currency. Now if they add the required, Ask a Friend to help, then well…. sigh. Empires & Allies and Risk seemed like fun Facebook games, until I ran into this. Sorry I do not know 30 people who play those games and I am not going to spam them.

    Kings Bounty works great. I can do enough each day for a quick fix if I want and I do not have to spam friends. Outernauts fell into the same trap but apparently they changed it so You could play more than 10 minutes until you ran out of energy. Have to see how it fares now.

    • pilouuuu says:

      They already started with the PvZ items for EA’s own The Sims 3 Supernatural Limited Edition. I really hope EA doesn’t ruin this lovely franchise and PopCap as well

      • El_Emmental says:

        Too late, it’s already done. They fired a lot of people and plan to cripple all their next games with micro-transactions.

  21. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Alec, one question:
    Is that PEE VEE ZED or PEE VEE ZEE?
    The Office Of Things People Get Irrationally Irritated About wishes to know.

  22. Enkinan says:

    I have no doubt that EA will make this game a horrible flaming pile of trash. A shame seeing as PvZ is such a great game.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Malibu Stacey says:

    Whoever created the header image should be banned from playing PvZ.
    Tall-nut does not need a Pumpkin shield. Tall-nut will die alone with nothing but his honour and a single tear.

  24. v.dog says:

    Given the first game had a store unlocking things with ingame currency- microtransactions are all but certain. No, this is EA- they’re certain.

    Here’s a preview of what to expect:
    Midnight Sun (extra sun at night) $5
    Pool Party (unlock pool levels) $3
    Alternate Appearance Pack 1 (customise your zombies) $10
    Alternate Appearance Pack 2-20 (customise your sim/house) $5-20
    Power to the Peaple (overpowered shotgun pea) only available with your pre-order at Gamestop

  25. pilouuuu says:

    Now my question is… will this game have that always on-line nonsense crap?

    I just want to play another version of the same brilliant game with new cute plants, more varied levels and new menacing zombies.

    Can EA not ruin this?!?

  26. Nico says:

    Father Ted! Yes!!!!!