EA has taken a lot of flak recently for its microtransaction model. First, there was the highly unpopular "lawnmower tax" in Plants vs. Zombies 2, which required players to repurchase any lawnmowers lost in the course of play. Previously lawn mowers would respawn at the start of each new level. Then Peter Molyneux vocally expressed his disdain for the pay-or-wait mechanic in the recently released free-to-play version of Dungeon Keeper.
But EA seems to be listening to the criticism. Today, in addition to partnering with GOG.com to give away the original Dungeon Keeper for free, they also removed the lawnmower payments from PvZ 2.
A representative called the addition of a fee for replacing the lawnmowers a "test."
"We are always testing new features in Plants vs. Zombies 2. The lawnmower feature noted by some players was part of a small-scale test and is now over."
Other changes to Plants vs. Zombies 2, such as the more linear level progression, are still in effect. But we'll be on the lookout for more "tests" that may be conducted in PvZ 2 in the future.