Plants vs. Zombies 2, which has been delayed until July 18 in the United States, is currently available for download from the New Zealand and Australian App Stores.

Allen Murray, the game's senior producer, spoke to Polygon today to explain that the company decided to soft launch in New Zealand and Australia in order to test features like server stability and pricing.

pvz2

"With Plants vs. Zombies 2 we're taking advantage of a lot of newer technologies," Murray said. "If you're connected to the internet, 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."

Plants vs. Zombies 2 utilizes cloud saving and is slated to be free with in-app purchases. According to Murray, PopCap plans to test and monitor player purchasing behavior to make pricing adjustments ahead of the game's wider launch. Players will likely see pricing fluctuations for content, which will include premium plants and coin packs that can be used for purchasing power-ups and upgrades.

"Our philosophy is to not be heavy-handed and very soft in our approach," Murray said. "Anyone with enough time and skill can unlock all content. But we have a unique challenge in that the game is widely loved — by kids and grandparents, casual players and hardcore players, and everyone in between. It's a challenge to design something that will work for all audiences."

Gamers in New Zealand and Australia can download the app immediately from the App Store for free, while U.S. players will need to wait until later this month. Our sister site TouchArcade has gone hands on with the game and has a demo available for users who want an early peek at Plants vs. Zombies 2.

Top Rated Comments

HardRain Avatar
108 months ago
I am tired of complaining about the horrible nature of excessive IAP. I'm no longer angry, just sad, sad that the natural joy of gaming has come to be taken away. :(
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
anthorumor Avatar
108 months ago
I downloaded the game, and from a few plays it is more or less the same as PVZ1. I haven't gone to the time travelling features yet but one neat (free) addition is the ability to temporarily supercharge your plants using seeds. The graphics are simpler but that's because each animated character now has more animation. Each character seems to have more 'bounce' and movement and fluid animation does make the game play better.

Unfortunately it looks like EA has really restricted the use of our favourite plants from PVZ1 to purchase-only upgrades. Favourites now cost $1.99 each (edit: $2.99? seriously! I bet this will drop to $1.99)

I think this is only going to make PVZ1 more popular.

Screenshots of Plants VS Zombies being EA'd
http://www.flickr.com/photos/83548270@N00/sets/72157634573159324/

And the screenshot that will make PVZ fans cry:
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bathplug Avatar
108 months ago
To bad it's been EA'd
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bushido Avatar
108 months ago
for free .... here comes the in-app-purchase madness :rolleyes::mad:
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
autrefois Avatar
108 months ago
Looks like they downgraded the graphics.
Maybe that'll be one of the in-app purchases, to get decent graphics back.

I love how NZ and AU are test beds for a soft launch :p
Request for people in Australia and New Zealand — please don't buy any of the in-app purchases during the soft launch period. The article says they're basing pricing and such in part based on how things go. Maybe if EA sees that no one is buying them they will convert some of them to free or at least lower the prices. You never know...

EDIT: Just to clarify, I think that developers deserve to be paid of course for their work, it's the freemium model that I disagree with — as others have said here and elsewhere, at least give an option to pay for the full game.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
T'hain Esh Kelch Avatar
108 months ago
Not gonna happen for me too.

This games should be renamed "Your Wallet VS Zombies".

PvZ: Pay vs. Zombies.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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