Plants vs. Zombies 2 delayed for further server testing and price model balancing

Game to soft launch in Australia and New Zealand this week.

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The launch of the upcoming PopCap title Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time was delayed so the developers could test the title through numerous servers, senior producer Allen Murray said in an interview with Polygon.

Australia and New Zealand will be getting their hands on some zombie genocide later today, but the rest of the world will have to wait.

The company wants to test the game's foundations including its back end server capacity, cloud saving system, and cash shop options, before releasing the game widely. Murray said that while the game does not require an internet connection, gamers can take advantage of its numerous features if connected online. "You can save your progress and share accounts across multiple devices--and we need to make sure those systems, along with our ability to stream that content to players, works."

Murray said that PopCap needs to stabilize and tweak its pricing models. Gamers who are participating in the soft launch in Australia and New Zealand later today will see price fluctuations in the cash shop.

Murray said the soft launch was set in those two countries because the company does not know how stable the backend servers are. "If we had more players than we could account for, some of the systems might fall over. We want to be double confident, so we're testing it in a smaller region. This allows us to have a more controlled testing player base and determine how to keep the game healthy, then map that to the expected growth when we launch worldwide."

Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time had a release date of July 18 before getting pushed back to late summer.

Discussion

41 comments
gr8arm
gr8arm

I have an iPhone but I won't be playing it on that.  The game mechanics lend itself to a point and click interface.  Until you make a PC version, it's not about time for me.  Also, I would pay $20-$50 for a full featured PC version where one is rewarded with upgrades for playing, not for buying extra stuff.  Popcap, tell EA to not kill this game because trying to figure out how to get more money and changing the original formula is going to kill your game and eventually EA will say that YOU failed and dissolve or sell you off.

mypetmonkey
mypetmonkey

Got it playing it and it's fine... Is there a cash store... Yep. Do you have to buy anything.... Nope.

OMG... gamers might need self control. WTF is that?

EDIT: Don't let it stop you going bat shit crazy and ranty gaming community.... There isn't enough of that shit happening these days...

farcorners
farcorners

If they release a game free, they need to get back the development costs, and make a profit, so that everyone benefits. WIN - WIN. If they can understand what people are WILLING to purchase 'In Game' and for how much, as long as they maintain high integrity with the players unwilling to buy such items, then the business model works. In other words, as long as they do not release a broken game that requires purchase to fix, everyone wins. I'm not a mark for these guys, however. I'm still angry about the whole Sim City Social closure fiasco. 

raahsnavj
raahsnavj

"tweak its pricing models" - or in other words, figure out how to make as many whales as possible. If they are willing to give it might as well take it right? Make sure those models border on what is acceptable by ethics.

toshineon
toshineon

Server capacity? Oh, crap...

Ovirew
Ovirew

Well, I'll try the game when it comes out, but after such a long wait already I'm not having high hopes for it.

AgentMothman95
AgentMothman95

I love PvZ, it's one of my favorite games, and it's always fun to come back to. However, this sequel seems to be doing everything that I didn't want it to do. So honestly, I don't really care anymore that this thing is delayed. 

lo266
lo266

Love PvZ but I am worried about the sequel. F2P can be done right but more often than not, it isn't. 

In any game with some sort of competitive aspect, any IAPs that are not purely cosmetic in nature usually result in an unbalanced game. In completely single player, non-competitive fare (i.e. no leaderboards), IAPs are usually used to enable the player to take a game designed as having a difficulty level of impossible down to something manageable. Both are huge problems I have with the model as used today.

I wouldn't have an issue with IAPs in single player, non-competitive games as long as the game without them started on a difficulty level resembling hard mode in most games today. I like a challenge but I don't like playing a game that basically forces me to pay to advance. As for multiplayer, if IAPs were purely cosmetic, cool.


Butsnts
Butsnts

Rip Plants VS Zombies  now EA only!.

Tripwolf
Tripwolf

Sounds like they're testing to see how harsh the backlash is going to be because of the cash shop.

They're probably also concerned about hacking the offline game and bypassing their cash shop.

Popcap is dead to me. EA killed them.

gamergath
gamergath

I can't wait anymuch longer. I miss the Giant Potato crushers! And Marigold!

deathstream
deathstream

I can't wait to see how the pricing stacks up in the end.  They say you can play the whole game without a purchase, but 6 plants and 4 upgrades are premium (or do I have that backwards?).  As long as the 10 premium items are truly optional and don't cost more combined than I would be willing to pay for the game, I am OK with it.  FTP CAN be done right and this is the first big test of how EA plans to handle FTP for next gen games.

Tidemoo
Tidemoo

 Have the game now and in no way shape or form do you have to buy ANYTHING nothing at all. There a few plants that can only be brought with cash this is true but you do not need them in anyway and are just convinience plants. EVERYTHING else can be earned in game.

Third and final world so far and have never needed to buy anything. Coins take some farming but they did in No1 aswell.


Not_A_Quarian
Not_A_Quarian

It's a great game crippled by micro-transaction, money grubbing bullshit. Tried it, got 5 levels before it asked me to buy something. Also, the title 'It's About Time' is actually quite clever because it is about time.

Scorchstar
Scorchstar

Don't get too excited for this... Basically just a HD remake...

SolidTy
SolidTy

 I'm looking forward to trying this out someday.

veryfrost
veryfrost

Does it mean that if I'm on a plane or away from home where there is no connection I would not be able to save my progress ?

Kinda sux 

19James89
19James89

Release this on the Wii U and it will shift as many copies as NSMBU.

Lhomity
Lhomity

If I had a smartphone I'd be buying this ASAP, but for now, I'll just be waiting patiently to pick this up on console, PC or Vita.


*waits patiently*

YaelleG
YaelleG

@Tripwolf heh... the person below this called you paranoid & absurd.  But now that the game is out worldwide, I guess you have been proven correct, eh?   (did I just say eh?)

Lhomity
Lhomity

@Tripwolf  Honestly... Everything you just said is absurdly paranoid, and actually says a lot more about you than it does about EA.

Tidemoo
Tidemoo

@deathstream Completely optional the only reason you would ge tthe upgrades is if you wanted to farm coins a little faster or just make the game way way to easy. Some levels are great to farm for coins and stars and to be honest the extra stuff just ruins the game.

IAP is great for the people that just want to bust the game out in a couple of hours and forget about it after.

radavast
radavast

@Tidemoo Good to know. I will probably buy those anyway. If the game is half as good as the first one, I will definitely support it.

Lhomity
Lhomity

@veryfrost"Murray said that while the game does not require an internet connection, gamers can take advantage of its numerous features if connected online. "You can save your progress and share accounts across multiple devices--and we need to make sure those systems, along with our ability to stream that content to players, works.""

^From article.

- The cloud saves are for allowing play across multiple devices

- Can play and save your game offline if you choose

DrHyde
DrHyde

@Lhomity @Tripwolf You apparently haven't actually heard of EA have you, Lhomity? One only needs to look at Mass Effect and Dead Space to see a before and after effect of this bastard of a company. 

Lhomity
Lhomity

@DrHyde @Lhomity @Tripwolf  Mass Effect is awesome. The ending to 3 was disappointing, but it was still a fantastic game imo.

Never played Dead Space, but I do have Dead Space 2 on my PSN download list (Thanks to PlaySation Plus!). One of these days I might try it out.