PvZ: Garden Warfare PC ‘Not A Port,’ Apparently

By Nathan Grayson on June 23rd, 2014 at 9:00 am.

zombies with guns? why, next they'll be putting shoes on hedgehogs

Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare has been out on Xbox One since February. It’s still coming to PC – and soon, in a couple days, in fact – but it’s awfully tardy at this point. Perhaps it was actually developed by Ents, creatures known for their gnarled hardiness and deliberate approach, but hardly their sense of urgency. Regardless, it’s finally almost here now, and PopCap believes it will be worth the wait. Why? Well, for one because it’s apparently not a port despite an initial console focus and how hilariously long it’s taken to get out the door. Hmmm.

Here’s the key bit from the video:

“It’s not a port. We have so many hardcore PC gamers on our team that live and breathe PC. Everything from our UI to how our mouse-driven controls are gonna work – everything has been looked at by PC gamers.”

Which does not, by definition, keep something from being a port. It keeps it from being a poor port, but unless the game’s original focus was PC all you’re doing is muddying up a term.

That said, I’m glad the PC version seems to have gotten proper attention. And the temporarily exclusive map is a nice, if misguided, gesture I suppose; I think something like mod support would’ve been better given PC gamers’ priorities, not to mention mods’ ability to keep players around far longer than slowly dribbled out map packs. A “TIMED EXCLUSIVE!!!!!1111″ is a consolation prize in multiple senses of the word, a console-like sales menality washing up on our shores and speaking an entirely different language.

Still though, are you interested? PvZ: Garden Warfare is apparently decent, and it looks pretty fun/silly from where I’m standing. Might be worth a quick play, although a not-quite-budget, not-quite-full price of $34.99 makes it a slightly harder sell when there are so many other, more established shooters to choose from on PC.

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45 Comments »

  1. Dozer says:

    Is there even a solid definition of ‘port’?

    • Premium User Badge Gap Gen says:

      I see some ported plants in that trailer.

    • Spacewalk says:

      Comes in bottles.

      • Jarenth says:

        Ships lay anchor at them.

        • Horg says:

          Left side of said ships.

          • Premium User Badge Rikard Peterson says:

            As a verb, it means turning said ship to port: “the yacht immediately raised all sail and ported her helm”

            (I did not know this – Google is quite helpful sometimes.)

    • mzlapq says:

      Each device connected to the internet has exactly 65536 of them.

    • ludlamer says:

      “a town or city with a harbour or access to navigable water where ships load or unload.”

    • Janichsan says:

      C-C-C-Combo Breaker!

      “In software engineering, porting is the process of adapting software so that an executable program can be created for a computing environment that is different from the one for which it was originally designed (e.g. different CPU, operating system, or third party library).”

      So, yes, this is a port.

  2. TillEulenspiegel says:

    all you’re doing is muddying up a term

    Yeah and we certainly wouldn’t want that in videogames. All the terms used here are very precise and well-understood, not vague and handwavey at all.

    But to be slightly fair to EA (shudder), with cross-platform game engines becoming ever more powerful and widespread, it can be difficult to define which platform is the native one and which one is a port. It makes more sense to talk specifically about terrible UI, bugs, etc, rather than complaining vaguely about a “bad port”.

    • joshg says:

      My guess would be, they’ve actually used cross-platform code for most of the game; so in their mind, they wouldn’t think of it as a port, because it’s been built for PC in parallel with the Xbone.

      But that doesn’t stop the PC release from having a whole mess of PC-specific complications to sort out. Optimizing for a wide range of hardware, making the UI work at different resolutions and aspect ratios, making sure mouse UI doesn’t suck, etc etc. And since console releases require an extra month or four of back-and-forth on getting console approval, which is full of nitpicky criteria reminiscent of tax returns, usually the console version is brought to release-candidate level first. That often means PC specific stuff is sorted out in those last months.

      All that said, if they do take it seriously and know what kinds of things annoy PC gamers, then it might be fine. In a case like this, usually the real reason something gets the “port” label by gamers is when PC-specific stuff hasn’t been given a lot of time and resources.

  3. BooleanBob says:

    Everyone always says this and it’s always still a port. I’m trying not to be snarky but they’re kind of asking for it with their inspired addition of a map gimmick that was in the launch version of TF2. Seven years ago.

    ‘PC gamers are amazing gamers’

    I feel bad. Are we really so terrifying that this level of supplication is deemed necessary? So hostile in the comment sections, so toxic on the message boards? Am I contributing to the problem right now? Probably!

    The game looks like it could be pretty fun! Does it really have a mandatory price tag, though? I assumed it would be free to play.

  4. Phinor says:

    Exclusive map isn’t nice. Exclusive content of any kind always means someone else is missing out.

    That being said, I’m still curious about this game. Whether it’s acceptable or not, I will admit that I have indeed pre-purchased this game and will be playing it later this week.

  5. Freud says:

    Nothing unsells a game quicker than a developer that proudly proclaims that buyers of the digital deluxe version gets “150 000 coins, which is going to buy you lots of sticker packs in the sticker shop”. Microtransactions in a full price game means they have their hands too far up my wallet.

    • Superanos says:

      You don’t need microtransactions at all. You get tons of points just by playing the game, so just get the normal edition.

      Surprisingly I never see anyone whine about CS:GO having microtransactions in a paid game, but it’s OK when Valve does it!

      • Premium User Badge Martel says:

        If it’s the same model as the mobile phone version, it’s a lot more restrictive than you make it sound.

      • DrGonzo says:

        Those are just weapons skins though, they have absolutely no impact on the stats or gameplay at all. That’s when I have a problem.

      • Skiddywinks says:

        Lol, get a clue.

      • deadly.by.design says:

        Yeah, you chose the wrong Valve game to pick on. TF2 items have slight gameplay tweaks included.

        CS:GO and Dota 2, however, are strictly cosmetic when it comes to items.

        • toxic avenger says:

          Not really. Every non-standard, non-out of the box item has one different ability and one drawback, a give and take. Not one poses a competitive disadvantage; there’s a way to get around every item with all of the base things you already have for free at first launch. Ask any veteran, 70 percent of the items that *drop* (for free, for everyone, a set random number of times weekly) are actually less powerful than the stock counterparts. If you’re not really invested into the game, it’s easy to see how one would think the items are bonuses, like an RPG item, instead of seeing them as like pieces on a chess board: Each with their own purpose, none of which are omnipotent and all powerful.

  6. Ando says:

    You had me at “Sticker packs and hats”. LOL j/k, this game looks terrible.

  7. Aunion says:

    I’m getting tired of all these game publishers who make a successful debut on the PC, then migrate to consoles… PopCap, Rockstar Games, Infogrames (at least Outcast 2 was schedules for consoles rather than for the PC where the original game made its debut)…

  8. WALLS says:

    This looks like a cool tf2 mod, i just cant tell which one is the medic

  9. Seafort says:

    You guys should watch some of the video playthroughs on youtube. The game looks really fun and all the DLC so far has been free. You can buy coins for real money but all the content can be unlocked just by playing the game as well.

    You can get it for £14 at simplycdkeys.com :) EA Origin prices are always overinflated to the point where I’m surprised anyone buys from their store.

  10. Premium User Badge DarkLiberator says:

    Looks hilariously silly. Might get it on sale.

  11. Premium User Badge golem09 says:

    “A “TIMED EXCLUSIVE!!!!!1111″ is a consolation prize”

    It’s more like a console-price. That’s how playbox platforms try to justify their buyer’s purchase.
    God I hate exclusivity in any form.

  12. Premium User Badge RedViv says:

    So waddaboot that actual PvZ people want, will we get that with a fixed price once the portable platforms are all sufficiently milked or what?

    • Artiforg says:

      This is something I’d like to know too. PvZ 2 has been out on mobile for ages now and I seem to recall them saying it was coming to PC but since then nothing, all I can find is mention of Garden Warfare which I’m not even remotely interested in.

  13. Stevostin says:

    I don’t get it. PvZ was a huge succes so they take a heap of time & money to do a sequel that actually is a completely different game ? I mean my wife is never going to play that one. Who’s the really dumb publisher behind that turn ?

    • Turkey says:

      They weren’t targeting people like your wife. That’s what PvZ 2 was for.

      PvC transcended being a game and became a brand with mainstream recognition and they’re trying to capitalize on that by covering more demographics. If this goes well it will likely spawn more weird deviations from the main series.

    • deadly.by.design says:

      Oddly enough, my wife thought the trailer looked like a lot of fun. She’s the usual Angry Birds / PvZ / low-risk/reward casual game enjoyer when she wants to be. Just make it fun and low pressure and she’ll enjoy it.

      I’m not excited about installing Origin, but I enjoy playing co-op games with her. So, it’ll probably happen.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Have you heard about this thing called Battlefield: Hardline?

  14. MeestaNob says:

    6 months late and stranded on Origin? This will die on the vine.

  15. aeromorte says:

    I dont want to have an exclusive content. I feel like an asshole then. It would be great if every gamer console/pc would get it at the same time. We are all gamesr and i hate when people create theose walls between them.

  16. Premium User Badge Wisq says:

    PSA: Grind warning! (second-hand info)

    This game was the subject of a recent Jimquisition episode: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/9145-The-Trap-Of-Gamer-Gratitude

    Basically, it sounds like EA released a massively grindy game, waited long enough that most potential buyers had bought it and most existing players were sick of the grind, then added gameplay shortcuts in the form of microtransactions. The result was people actually thanking them for giving them a way to bypass the grind — somehow forgetting that EA were the ones that made it massively grindy in the first place. Create a problem, sell the solution, profit.

    I’ve not played it myself, so this is just second-hand (or maybe third-hand?) info. But I would definitely be wary of any game that has people falling over themselves to pay to skip gameplay.

  17. Armante says:

    PvZ was great. Played it to death. Played PvZ 2 on my wife’s iPad for maybe a couple hours and deleted it.

    And this? This just looks really shit. Slow, wobbly movement and graphics that look designed to run on a PC from 5 years ago.. Seriously, given all the other games out there in the same genre, why would you play this?

    • Seafort says:

      You do realise this is on the Frostbite 3 engine. The same one that powers Battlefield 4 and will power Dragon Age Inquisition and Star Wars Battlefront so I doubt it’s designed to run on a PC from 5 years ago. Bit of an over-exaggeration there :) The only reason you say that is because it has cartoon graphics and you don’t like that :)

      For me it looks like a great game but I didn’t pay full price on Origin for it. I don’t think it’s any more grindy than any other shooter out there today. Micro-transactions was inevitable it’s an EA game after all. They don’t do anything for free.

      You can still get everything with in game currency it just might take a bit longer than buying coins for real money but EA are targeting the impatient and easy mode gamer these days as much as anyone. If you’re strong willed you won’t succumb to their BS micros.

    • bstard says:

      If this was something enlighted like facebook I’d given you a +like. Thats what those youngsters do isnt it? PvZ is being torn apart by our frends. I’m sure Petrus is not amused.

  18. Tei says:

    Looking forward for this. I bought it on a impulse buy eons ago and they promised a springs release. I can wait if the final release is has fun the people that play in consoles report it to be.

    Also, about time they have started talking about it and making PR noises. I was having the strange feelings, like EA would release this without making any announcement.

  19. Chuckleluck says:

    WHY OH WHY DID POPCAP SELL TO EA??

  20. noodlecake says:

    I love how people always whine if they don’t get tons of extras on their PC version.

  21. HisDivineOrder says:

    EA: “Now, dooooon’t be haaaaasty, Master Race. You must understand, young gamer, it takes a loooooong time to port anything to Old PCish. And we never code aaaanything unless it is worth taaaaaaking a looooooong time to wait.”

  22. rocketman71 says:

    Port or no port, it’s still Origin only, so I can’t really give a shit.