Plants vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time Review

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Plants vs Zombies is my favorite Popcap game. There’s no disputing it; it’s what put Popcap on the map for me. It’s one of the rare games that I own multiple copies of. I finished it on the PC and then completed it again on the game’s natural habitat, the iPad. Needless to say, I was looking forward to Plants vs Zombies 2 with much anticipation.

I grabbed Plants vs Zombies 2 as soon as it was available on the North American App Store. I was looking forward to the natural evolution of the Plants vs Zombies motif but instead Popcap had me traveling to different time periods and tossed out what made Plants vs Zombies a cohesive experience.

Before I move on, I’d like to point out that these tower defense games are limited on what they have to offer. Something like choice of visual aesthetic or music have significant ramifications. Tower defense games are a dime a dozen, so it’s trivially easy to drop one in favor of another.

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Apple paid for PvZ2 timed exclusivity?

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ea-logo.pngElectronic Art’s and Popcap’s Plants vs. Zombies 2 made its North American debut on iOS a month or so ago. It launched with a bit of a fervour over its F2P implementation, managed to rack up over 25 million downloads under two weeks and that’s about it. Barely anyone questioned why there wasn’t any other version yet, we all assumed it would arrive later in due time.

I assumed the delay was to assure the game was compatible across as many Android devices as possible, I didn’t even think of the possibility of moneyhatting.

Well it turns out Electronic Arts was paid a “truckload of money” by Apple. This would be the first significant example of timed exclusivity by way of financial compensation in the mobile space.

Apple — of course — denies such allegations but Electronic Arts has no reason to lie about such things. A “truckload of money” maybe an over simplification of “marketing agreement” but the fact of the matter is, Apple is taking games on its platforms extremely seriously.

The “natural” delay that existed between iOS and Android releases of games and apps is dwindling. As tools and middleware improve, the only thing to stop or delay an app from appearing on a competitor’s platform is financial compensation. And if you were a platform holder who was looking to keep a platform as attractive as possible, worthwhile exclusives are one way to achieve that. And selecting the sequel to one of the most beloved mobile games like Plants vs Zombies isn’t a bad place to start.

Now if only we could get a quantifiable definition of “truckload”.

P.S – I should write up a review for Plants vs Zombies 2.

On TitanFall

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A lot has been said about Respawn Entertainment and Electronic Arts’s TitanFall. Many were impressed with the game’s opening reveal at this year’s E3 and continued to be impressed with what was shown at Gamescom.

I count myself amongst those who were impressed but I also recognize it could very well end up being nothing more than Call of Duty with mechs.

Will you use a Titan?

I have learned to not trust any of these staged multiplayer videos. Call of Duty titles, in particular, are notoriously more frantic and faster paced than these videos. With that in mind, I foresee many issues facing the Titans.

Hopping into a Titan seems like a poor life choice. Infantry are much more nimble and have the ability to oust a Titan pilot by getting on top of it or just bombard it from rooftops.

Just like a tank in Battlefield, a Titan’s survivability appears to be tied to the teammates who are around it. Will anyone actually hop on the back of a Titan to take pot shots at enemies? Or will snipers discourage that?

So many mysteries

I am very curious to see how Respawn will balance Titanfall. Impressive walkthroughs and mock ups are one thing but I remember Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer reveal and what we ended up with in the final game. I sincerely hope history doesn’t repeat itself.

PlayStation 4 release?

If I were a betting man, I’d put chips down on a PlayStation 4 release in the fall of 2014.

EA’s FY2014 Q1 Earnings’ Musings

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  • $222 million in net income.
  • 4 million Battlefield 3 Premium owners.
  • $298 million in revenue for PC

These three points were my takeaways from EA’s latest financials and they’re quite telling.

Electronic Arts is making money

When a large publisher is making money, that’s a good thing. Even if you hate their guts for what they’ve done to your favorite franchise, their profitability bodes well for the industry.

4 million can’t be wrong?

That’s going to be EA’s takeaway from their Battlefield 3 Premium program. I totally expect them to double down on this DLC program with Battlefield 4. I will continue to not support it though.

$298 million reasons why PC is important

Origin? FIFA Online? Whatever the case may be, the PC brought in more money for EA than the PS3 and Xbox 360 for this quarter. It didn’t bring in more than the two of them combined but that’s still a sizeable amount of revenue.

I wonder what this will tell EA though. Will they continue to only to funnel their games through Origin? Or will they finally put them on Steam as well?

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