The Plants Vs Zombies franchise has come a long way since PopCap’s initial entry. The series started as an indie mobile game, helped developers get picked up by EA (boo!), and went on to be PopCap’s highest-earning IP.
The series also saw several sequels and adaptations, including Battle for Neighborville. It quickly became a big part of EA’s portfolio.
However, series producer Bruce Maclean has noted how the next instalment will be a return to the series’ roots. Namely, a free-to-play, flower-defence, mobile line shooter game.
This isn’t actually news as Plants Vs Zombies 3 has been floating around pre-alpha stages since July 2019. The news here is that the game has now soft-launched (in select Philippine areas at first). More countries and regions will be added to in due time.
Room to Grow
Some key differences in the upcoming game include the reformatting of Sunflower units, the forced portrait playing mode, and 3D graphics as opposed to the traditional 2D.
- The Sunflowers are still present, but instead of being placeable units, they work independently on-screen producing Sun Energy as the matches go on.
- The forced portrait mode is used “as a way to make the game more phone-friendly”.
- And the fleshed-out 3D graphics come as a result of PopCap wanting “to show off the characters in better detail, so you can truly appreciate their wackiness”.
A Not So Sun(flowery) Disposition
Sounds fair enough so far. Fans of the series and mobile sceptics alike will be waiting for one crucial point, however; microtransactions. Yes, as you may have summed up of “free-to-play”, microtransactions were going to be involved.
On the subject of microtransactions appearing in-game, Maclean added:
“While this game is definitely a labour of love here at PopCap, our families still gotta eat. So, we’ve added optional microtransactions that can help you speed up progression”.
Still, chances are, if you’ve played any of the original mobile games and liked them, you’ll enjoy this one. You know what to expect by now.
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