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.

E3 2013 Day 0 Impressions

e3-logoDay one of E3 2013 is done. Time for some impressions, some cheers and some jeers. I’ll collect some trailers and other media tomorrow but for now it’s just text!

Microsoft’s Press Conference

Microsoft promised games and delivered on that promise. They started with Metal Gear Solid 5 and ended with an incredible in-game demonstration of TitanFall. In-between the two were a flurry of exclusives.

Microsoft confirmed a gameplay recording and streaming feature for the Xbox One along with Xbox Live! Gold features such as Gold membership sharing on one console and a PS Plus-esque free game offer. All of these features sound great, if I were to pay for Xbox Live! Gold. I refuse to pay for online multiplayer.

As expected, the Xbox One will debut this November for $499.99. I’m surprised there wasn’t a different lower priced SKU or a subsidized offering but there’s still lots of time to announce the latter.

If we’re strictly looking at the games being offered, I am in for an Xbox One. Three exclusives including Forza MotorSport 5, TitanFall (PC as well but I rather play with controller) and the next Halo game in 2014 are enough to push me towards an early purchase.

I mentioned the highlights but there were many announced Xbox One titles that just didn’t show well. However, when I consider it was a 90 minute presentation, it was decently paced. In the end, I was able to grab a trio or so of games that I would purchase an Xbox One for.

Overall Grade: B

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Lego City Undercover Oozes Charm

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If Lego City Undercover delivers this kind of charm and humor for the game’s entirety, I would consider picking it up. I sincerely hope they deliver on the gameplay and completely rip off Sleeping Dogs. I know that’s farfetched but I can dream can’t I?

I thought this was going to end up on other consoles as well until I saw Nintendo’s logo appear at the start of the trailer. I have to congratulate Nintendo for rounding up some solid third party support. Lego City Undercover joins the likes of Bayonetta 2 and The Wonderful 101 as Wii U exclusives.

“Only On PSN” brings cult classics & more

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If you spend enough time on gaming forums, you should have heard of Capcom/Clover Studios’ God Hand. And if you’re like me and many others out there, you probably haven’t played God Hand. It didn’t debut with the highest of MetaCritic score, but fans of it swear by it.

I never played it and I couldn’t muster the effort or funds to purchase a copy for myself. But even if I wanted to buy it right now, where would I look? GameStop? Ebay? The PlayStation Network Store?

Yes, PlayStation 2 cult classics like GrimGrimoire, Maximo: Ghosts to Glory, Odin Sphere and Ring of Red are coming to the PSN Store by virtue of software emulation. As for the price? Apparently it’ll be $10. Not too shabby. For that price, I’ll try God Hand, Maximo and maybe even GrimGrimoire. Not Odin Sphere though. I already own that.

In addition to those PS2 games, October will also feature a plethora of other PSN exclusives like:

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