If the level of outrage garnered from Real Racing 3 going freemium is any indication, your going to want to shield yourself properly from this one. EA has announced that iconic block-dropping game Tetris will also be getting the freemium treatment later this spring with the release of Tetris Blitz. The game will center around a 2-minute timed mode where you'll need to clear as many lines as possible while shooting for the highest score. Clear blocks efficiently enough and you can trigger Frenzy Mode which will increase your multiplier for even bigger scores. Beyond that, special items will offer power-up abilities and new ways to score, and the items will change on a weekly basis to keep things fresh. If it all sounds a lot like Bejeweled Blitz [Free], a massively popular Bejeweled spinoff from EA-owned PopCap, that's because it's basically the same idea.

Also like Bejeweled Blitz, Tetris Blitz will offer integration with Facebook so you can spam...err, challenge your friends to beat your high scores and partake in weekly competitions. Additionally, the "One-Touch" controls – which were first introduced in the revamped Tetris [$2.99 / $2.99 (HD)] that released in late 2011 and were quite well-received – will be available with an enhanced "Drag and Place" scheme for players looking for even more control options. These are in addition to the classic swipe controls which have been a part of touchscreen Tetris since day one.

Speaking of the re-released Tetris, it created quite a bit of controversy when it hit the iPhone in late 2011 and the iPad in early 2012, which was the result of EA pulling the original Tetris that had been available for purchase since the App Store launched in 2008 and replacing it with the new version that was riddled with some pretty crazy IAP options. IAP can be done tastefully, and while our initial impressions of the freemium Real Racing 3 seemed positive we'll still have to wait and see how it fully shapes the experience, but the IAP that was in Tetris was just plain awful. Hopefully that's not the case with Tetris Blitz as it sounds like a great spin on the classic formula. We'll find out when Tetris Blitz launches this spring.

[Via Joystiq]

  • maniacfive

    That I just don't understand. Why would they need freemium Tetris. Just release Tetris. Charge £1.49 for it and enjoy the profit as everybody who had an original gameboy buys it purely for another chance to see that space shuttle launch again.

    • Benegesserit

      i already have it for the appstore...this is a different version...like bejeweled 2 vs bejewled blitz

  • Jason

    It's already a freemium, you just have to buy it too.

  • felipe

    Third released Tetris from EA on appstore.. the first one was the most cool and they killed the app (the app was gone from appstore). Why a 3rd release? The second doesn't have iphone 5 screen support - so, to support 4 inches screen, they will release a new one again.. thanks, but no thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/livingtech Martin Grider

    The one-touch controls were "well received"...? Not by anyone I know. Seemed like a novelty mode at best. The Tetris IP needs to be wrested from EA's money-grubbing hands, IMO.

    • http://twitter.com/livingtech Martin Grider

      Don't get me wrong, I'll still play the hell out of this.

    • gnome9er

      i hated those controls!

  • B30

    Electronic Farts is ruining every franchise they get into their greedy fingers, this is so disappointing (e.g. Dead Space 3).

    • Benegesserit

      I put just as much blame of the companies that sold out to EA.

  • Adams Immersive

    It's too bad the original Tetris app for iPhone/iPad was removed--it was actually very good! Glad I got it while I could.

    I see they've done something similar with Scrabble on iPad: abandoned the original paid app (yet they still sell it!?!) and now they have a free app to take its place.

  • ImJPaul

    Here's what I don't understand. Maybe 1/50 Toucharcade members has absolutely no problem with IAP. And maybe 10-15/50 will pay if the product is good. (Don't chastise for inaccuracies, just ball parking) if there's that few of the diehard iOS gamers that will purchase IAP then how are all of these freemium games consuming the top grossing section? Is there like 5 billionaires who just spend millions of dollars on hay day and Dragonvale? I don't know if I'll ever understand the freemium thing but good God does it real in money. Freemium is equivalent to selling your soul to the devil it seems. Luckily there is no shortage of soulless douche bags on the EA payroll, it would seem.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      TouchArcade is such a small speck of total iOS users. There are hundreds of millions of people who don't care about IAP, they probably don't even know what IAP stands for. They don't mind downloading games from time to time and dropping some money on in-game transactions. These are the people that make freemium a success, as well as the "hardcore" gamers who wouldn't buy anything until it was on sale or free.

      What I've been trying to say all day is that the gamer crowd, the ones that claim they'd pay 10 or 20 bucks for a fully unlocked game, are the minority now. It sucks, but it's the reality. The people that comment with outrage on video game websites just can't compete with the hundreds of millions of people who don't follow gaming and could care less about the pay model of some racing game.

    • DEFMAD

      A lot of freemium games have varying prices for IAP's, ranging from .99c to $109.95. Most people spend up to 10-20 bucks on IAP's, but there are enough people willing to buy $109.95 units to become uber leet. Not only this, but the AppStore has a direct feed to people's credit cards; all people need to do is enter a password and - bam - there goes $109.95. Compare this model to a .99c game with no IAP's and you can see why their eyes glint at the freemium model.

  • Luigi_Mario

    TOTAL @#$%ING BULL@#$%!!!!!!!!!

  • meatz666

    Love the history of EA in our beloved medium. But just like Capcom on the consoles, they don't want to turn a nice profit and release great games. It's about releasing the cheapest experience, and fill their stock holder with millions. Good old Exploitation Arts...

    • Benegesserit

      Don't forget Zygna. At least EA buys original IPs instead of making freemium ripoffs