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PopCap Says “In-App Purchases” Are Essential For Games Like Plants vs. Zombies 2

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In an interview with AllThingsD, PopCap’s franchise business director for Plants vs. Zombies Tony Learner has stated that it is not possible to offer a gaming experience like Plants vs. Zombies 2 without in-app purchases. “It’s hard for us, because the Plants vs. Zombies 2 experience is one that we’re going to be expanding and adding content to all the time,” he said.

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PopCap’s Plants vs Zombies 2, which is available as a free download in the App Store and is supported by in-app purchases, has crossed 25 million downloads worldwide in less than two weeks of its launch, which is more than the lifetime download numbers of the original game from 2010. While some skilled players may be able to beat the game without spending any money, it will take a lot longer. Those looking to speed through the game’s worlds faster, will need to get some of the more advanced plants which are only available through in-app purchases.

“When people hear things like ‘free-to-play’ or ‘freemium,’ in their heads they think they know what that is,” Learner said in an interview with AllThingsD. “What we’ve seen with Plants vs. Zombies is, in the vast majority, once you play the game, you understand that this is a very different approach to offering a free experience with optional payments inside.”

Learner declined to share any specific in-app purchase sales numbers, but said that they’ve met PopCap’s expectations. And, although he gets asked about it a lot, he said that the “small handful of dissenters” pleading for a paid version of the game without IAP shouldn’t hold their breath.

Learner revealed that in-game purchases are also coming to PopCap’s new games for other platforms, including Peggle 2 and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare for Xbox One.

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  • Biggy604

    I doubt it was Pop Cap that wanted to say “in-app purchases” are needed for their games. I believe it was all EA (their parent company) that is making them say that it is needed. I mean PvZ the original (pre-EA purchase) did fine with just the $0.99-1.99 one time purchase. They should’ve done the same with this.

  • Chrome262

    agreed, EA is always all about the money and screw what the customer wants. Seriously, they only reason they make decent looking games is so you will buy them, not to enhance the gaming experience. I am not a fan of tower defense but I wouldn’t get this game even if i was.

  • DickGozinya

    Since you have no clue and the article didn’t explain it enough for you.. You don’t have to purchase a thing in order to play and complete the game. In fact, the crap you can purchase in game is pretty much just to reminisce about the characters of the first, and is entirely not necessary.

  • Chrome262

    I actually do have a clue, there are games you buy out right with minimal in app purchase, and there are others that make it difficult to actually play without buying anything. You can either design a game to enhance the players experience, or you can make it so all there is in your face is in app purchases. Now this may not be to that extreme but EA has a pretty good track record with putting profits above actually game play and improvements. just look at their latest madden iOS app. I was there when you couldn’t play any EA sports game on xbox live because they MS wouldn’t promise to disable live feature on older games. Finally other venders came and forced them to jump in. EA has bought out smaller developers in the past, and have done a great job of slowly corrupting their initial vision, for the bottom line.

  • DickGozinya

    Fine, but this isn’t madden. This is pvz.
    And in pvz you don’t need to buy jack in order to play, enjoy, and complete the game. Its also not nearly as hard as the author would have you believe.

  • Chrome262

    Oh, good thought it was another cash grab, glad that it isn’t. been frustrated with EA in the past if you haven’t noticed LOL

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