plants-vs-zombies2-650x416I'm so tired of zombies that I can't even channel the proper amount of disdain needed to write an intro poking fun at how many zombie games keep getting released. So, instead of bothering with that I'll just give you the news: Plants Vs. Zombies 2 is hitting July 18 at the price of ZERO dollars across iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

This is all according to some official announcement materials, which note that players will be able to access all the game's levels without a fee. There will be, however, optional IAP upgrades and in-game items.

As you'll see in this insane teaser trailer, PVZ 2 has a time-traveling theme. You'll be shooting zombies in the Wild West, ancient Egypt, or even on a pirate boat:

It'll be interesting to see if these F2P elements actually gel with the game or if they end up feeling kinda gross. IAP in strategy games is hard to do right because you never want to make the player feel like paying for something is the only viable strategy. Fingers crossed.

  • DannyTheElite

    This was always going to happen

    • TheFrost

      We decide were we invest our money, lets all skip this game and don't even download it, they will notice that.. (Sorry I had to respond here so every body sees it). We the consumers decide!

      • TheFrost

        Same for all paid games with IAP and for all freemium money sucking games!

      • ZarieoZ

        Well.. I think apple first introduced IAP when it bought the patent to be able to use it. Anyway, why not make a petition against *my still beloved Apple* to forcibly remove IAP from all games & don't just leave it for crappy company like EA & gameloft to make the decision... I'm not really that hopeful about it though since if it was any indication, I think Apple practices for the last couple of years with their unfinished & faulty releases shows that THEY JUST DON'T CARE ABOUT THE CONSUMER AS THEY USED TO :-(

      • TheFrost

        No, Apple wouldnt care about this at all, they could still live off its other business like Mac and so on... Its the greedy developers we need to show whos in charge, us the consumers!

      • Edmund Ching

        Supply and demand, if freemium has not been so profitable and consumers have not been expecting premium games at 99c ("anything above 1.99 should be AAA"), maybe developers would have stopped adopting those IAP monetization models and still afford to buy themselves some bread.

      • ZarieoZ

        yeah I know Apple still can but its practices nowadays doesn't show that they wanna linger on... infact Apple just wants MORE. Regardless, I think a petition is a good idea even if it didn't result in IAP removal then it will deliver the message to developers who act blind.

      • TheFrost

        If anyone tells me how to properly do it, I will gladly start it. For real :)

      • ZarieoZ

        I searched, there is a change(dot)org & an ipetition(dot)com. Replace dot with .

        Hope ti works, but stuff like that need lots of marketing to succeed its not just about starting it, so it'll need some effort spreading the word here and there ;-)

  • MisterMiracle

    Aand now comes the fear. Gonna be so sad if EA runs this property into the ground. They've certainly planted all the seeds of doubt by now.

    • bleeps

      It's true. Once they start grafting excessive f2p elements to a great IP, all the fun leaves the game. The root of the problem is monetization at the expense of the player experience. It all stems from that.

      • JohnnyHand

        Root of the problem... I like what happened there.

  • blackbear219

    Call me cynical, but the free price tag does not give me the warm and fuzzies.

  • Rivalsan

    After the freemiumization of Real Racing 3, is anyone here surprised by this news?

    • Josh Dombro

      Serious question because I haven't played the old Real Racings and have only played 3 a little: is the freemium that bad in it? I've only played the first circuit or world or whatever, and yeah, it prompts you too much to spend money, but can you not progress or win without spending?

      • Flesh

        The originals were bulit to be fun, but the third one is built to ripoff people, and thats not the same.
        Make one of the flaghip iOS title to a ridiculous piece of crap is bad in many ways...

      • Josh Dombro

        I get that the freemiumization of RR3 is seen really negatively, I'm asking how specifically. The little bit I've played (again, less than an hour total) didn't seem *that* bad, and I had fun with the game. Can you elaborate how it's built to rip people off please?

      • wojovox

        Been playing RR3 since day 1 and played RR2 for a while last year. It's really not that bad. People call it grinding but when you enjoy playing a game, 'grinding' doesn't seem a fitting term; I'm just playing. The only actual downfalls in RR3 is in car upgrades when playing online. I have the most expensive cars, but I saved for them and upgrading them is equally expensive so taking it online would just solidly me losing. Instead, I just play against bots so I don't have to invest in my cars. Really, that's the only great downfall to this particular case I can note.

        Obviously PVZ2 won't be a multiplayer game so I'm imaging IAP or 'grinding' will go towards unlocking various plants to beat ever increasingly challenging levels.

        We can bicker all day, but this game will hit the #1 spot in it's first 72 hours.

      • Josh Dombro

        Very well said. Grinding is a made up term since IAP became a thing, it used to be the only way to improve and beat a game because there were no shortcuts.

        And yes, PvZ2 will hit the top of the charts no matter what - top free games and top grossing I'm sure.

  • Broli95

    EA = CANCER

    • wildperson

      That's a pretty insensitive statement.

      • Protoman

        Yeah...cancer isn't nearly as insidious as EA...

      • Biowhere

        What would you rather find out:

        1. You have been diagnosed with cancer
        2. Your studio and IP have been bought by EA

        If your next question is, 'what kind of cancer is it?' That's when you know EA has a problem...

      • Zeldaniac

        It must be testicular cancer. The infected company never has the balls to say "no" to freemium.

      • handycapman

        It depends on the cancer. According to Michael Scott, "Did some research. It turns out that 98% of people with skin cancer fully recover." So as long as it's just skin cancer you are all good!

      • Zeldaniac

        And the next thing you know, EA will buy an actual cancer research lab.

        "Out of test tubes? $1999.99 to buy more!"

      • Living Legend

        Yaaaa!!!!

      • Protoman

        I've had cancer asshat.

      • Protoman

        And I still feel freemium is worse.

  • beeto456

    Free access to all maps yes, but you won't be able to beat those levels without the IAP upgrades. Is that the catch?

    Just please no energy bar or waiting time. Real Racing 3 added that unnecessary feature.

  • gambitph

    Well, it's about time!!

  • NeonVoidJP

    That is one cool trailer!

  • tex32

    Not sure about the IAP's, but trailer was was pretty sweet

    • Zeldaniac

      Even though I know it'll be freemium, I watched the trailer twice cause it was just that freaking awesome.

  • Lostpop21

    F2P? Abandon Ship! Abandon Ship!

  • Jack Wong

    Must get! But 2.99 only please!

  • TanRnet

    Well if popcap has any say then maybe IAP will be done right, even though I hate the way the whole system works. Worse thing to hit the gaming industry IMO.

  • handycapman

    I made an account to rage about this, but I see you guys beat me to the punch!

  • vic_viper_001

    More like, "It's about timers". FTP timers!

  • swarmster

    I don't know, they can certainly do what they want, but the problem with freemium isn't just avoiding making "the player feel like paying for something is the only viable strategy". The problem is it's fundamentally corrosive to game design. Suddenly the challenge of the game is not defeating zombies on your lawn with cool plants, but the real-world problem of trying to make do with spending as little money as possible. It introduces the meta-enemy to trump all enemies: the pay wall, and everything you do will be done to avoid it.

    Part of the fun of the first Plants vs. Zombies was earning new plants or tools and putting them to use in neat new ways. It kept everything fresh. Turning that mechanic into IAP is not only likely to destroy the progression and pull you out of the game world, but twists the game itself into some weird game of monetary chicken where you try to do without any of the niceties for as long as possible.

  • Zeldaniac

    If EA runs my beloved PopCap into the ground, I will personally launch the first EA HQ raid.

    • Flesh

      Dude, EA already ruined them, just take a look at PvZ for iOS, or google the fact that all the original PvZ makers leaved the company because they forced to posion their own game.
      They dont want to contribute to iAP and other EA shit, so they had to leave.

      • Zeldaniac

        Well in that case, meet me two blocks north of EA HQ with molotov cocktails, grappling ropes and tazers.

  • ZarieoZ

    I'm out... Seriously. I haven't downloaded real racing 3 to date & I won't be getting this either. I'm a loyal player, I got both RR1/2 & PvZ for iPhone & iPad..... & even though there is alot I my head that I wanna scream out.... Well EA doesn't deserve it. They deserved the golden poop award they got & I hope they get it again. Ruining such beautiful memories this way. Also I don't care what's the IAP strategy they apply, I won't wait & see.. I refuse the principal all together.

    Hope oneday there will be a petition to stop downloading EA games & they'll dissapear or something. TO HELL WITH YOU EA.

    • Zeldaniac

      Yep. They better win that golden crap award again this year just for this alone.

    • lewsheff

      A petition to stop iap sounds like a plan

      • Living Legend

        Lets do it!'

    • Jeff

      I think you're overreacting a bit. I'm sure the IAPs just let you move through the game faster. And it is just a game. People gotta make money somehow.

  • ImJPaul

    Lets hope it's reasonable. Not offended yet. Eagerly anticipating PVZ2!!! Can't wait!

  • iValerio90

    ea......u are hopeless..i dont buy ur game anymore...fail ea..

    • dariusjr98

      We meet again.

      • iValerio90

        no not u again :O

      • dariusjr98

        The feeling is mutual.

      • iValerio90

        im crash u kakarot

      • dariusjr98

        I really wish I could understand half of the crap you say.

  • lewsheff

    Game+iap=fucked up and ruined

    • Flesh

      EA+iAP=fucked up and ruined in the ass

  • iValerio90

    oh...and F**K EA, F**K FREEMUM.....AND F**K FIREMONKEYS !!!
    now im going to play with my beautiful SW KOTR

    • Chefbot

      Bioware has been owned by EA for a few years now.

      Just saying.

      • iValerio90

        Not in kotr period

  • alex13111

    I hate EA's f2p policy. Basically made sure this game wouldn't be held to as high of a regard as the original

  • keihin

    I hate IAP.

  • the fish

    Please EA let them do their thing! PvZ is one of the best games on iPhone so far, it's in the charts forever, so there is no reason to change the formula! You will make a ton of money and if you get the 2 right, you can make even more money with 3!!!! Goddammit don't f*ck this one up!

  • Happy W

    Oh, man, that trailer was SO GOOD!!

    But in answer to your question, Crazy Dave, no, I won't be joining you on this trip. I play video games to relax and enjoy myself, and freemium mechanics just jangle my nerves a bit too much. Also, I get kinda queasy when I consider the ethical implications of this stuff. You know, "whales" and all that.

    Nothing personal. I bought Peggle four times. Four different platforms. Same with the original Plants vs Zombies. Love your work, dude. But I'm afraid I can't follow you down this particular road.

    Nah, don't worry about me, man. I'm having fun playing Luigi's Mansion 2. I'll be alright.

    Ride on, Crazy Dave. Ride on.

  • crocydie90

    It 3d or real one ?? Cannot wait yahoooo!!!

  • TheFrost

    Only 1 guy from the original PopCap remains on board, and its not the lead designer so I fear for the worst...

  • B30

    I'll pass it's EA'ed!

  • MonkeyChunks

    Are they intentionally making the Pot Head reference? I never thoroughly played plants and zombies, only to certain level. Does anyone know if there are any subtle references to MJ weed in the first game such as growing hydroponically? :)

  • mycoolroy

    This is a terrible sign for the future of iOS gaming. Real racing already did it, now plants versus zombies. Maybe next will be infinity blade. I've noticed that many games that include in app purchases do devious things like get you hooked at first And wait for you to invest your time in the game then, during the middle of the game extremely up the difficulty to force you to buy an app purchases if you want to complete the game... Its just wrong. I've also heard from a developer that some companies even enlist psychologist to figure out when is best to strike you and when you are at your most vulnerable I think that it is immoral and something should be done about it.

    For example I like how Apple added a notification there when you buy the app that the app includes in a purchases I think that's a good step in the right direction. Because I and I'm sure many others want to avoid purchasing those apps. Even paid games now are offering in app purchases and they use the same heavy-handed tactics. It's probably because they all plan on going free down the line sometime and that's yet another reason to never purchase apps with in app purchases anymore.

    • http://iqsoup.com/ iqSoup

      lol--Infinity Blade. "You have run out of swipe gems, wait 4 hours and 53 minutes or BUY SOME SWIPE GEMS AT THE SWIPE GEM SHOP RIGHT NOW!!!"

  • MonkeyChunks

    I very much agree with swarmster who says above that problem with FTP IAP games is that the real enjoyment of virtual non-real world is polluted by the real world problem of paying as little as possible. It interferes with immersion into the game.

    I've played games since early 90s and to me games have always been playing in a world that is separate from real world and is its own closed loop. When I suddenly have to buy items that help me win in game, not simply change cosmetic appearance it messes with my psychology. It feels unfair and unnecessary.

    Even with the annoyance of the IAP I could see a way this could have been made less intrusive into the game enjoyment. For example if there were separate leader boards, one for players who may or may not have played with items purchased for $ and a leader board for those who play without any purchased items. But the creators won't want to do that probably, because it may show more activity on the non paying leader board and discourage IAP.

  • NickyNichols

    R.I.P. PopCap. Had a good run there for a while.

  • slamraman

    I can't even be bothered to comment on what was in hindsight inevitable. Please don't do this to FIFA. Or else I'll have to not download it too.

  • dariusjr98

    I died a little inside.

  • chank

    It would have been nice to see some actual gameplay footage instead of stupid cartoon. Just saying.

  • Ben Norvell

    And there goes another great IOS series that has fallen victim to the freemium curse... It's to be expected from EA.

  • ifanthomas

    "Your pea shooter has run out of energy, use 3 gems to refill energy"

    • http://iqsoup.com/ iqSoup

      More like: "Your pea shooter has run out of pea shooter gas. To plant a pea shooter you must wait 15 hours and 37 minutes for it to refill its pea shooter gas......OR..."

  • Professionalbum

    Wishful thinking here but I'd like to see this and all other AA titles given a IAP to buy the game outright with a small bonus. I'd have no problem spending 20 dollars on this title if that was an option.

    I won't hold my breath...

    • http://iqsoup.com/ iqSoup

      Problem is all the whales who spend hundreds on IAP would just spend the 20 bucks and never spend a penny more. What we need is developers who have integrity and actually care about making a fun experience. There are plenty devs like this--lets all just pretend EA doesn't exist and maybe they will just go away.

  • garret44

    I fear 4 the worst along with you guys. I want to say that this wont ruin it-- but...

    At least UPDATE THE ORIGINAL FOR IPHONE 5

  • CricketDude

    The day after my birthday... iTunes gift cards #1 on the list!

  • Smartbomb

    This was the quickest emotional rollercoaster ever.

    90 seconds of pure excitement watching the trailer, followed by an epic class A come down reading the F2P nonsense... Absolute fart nuggets. I am disappoint.

  • Josh Dombro

    My guess is that PvZ2 will give you everything you need to beat the game for free, but much better plants will be available for purchase, or something along those lines. It's annoying, but if the game is fun, I'm not going to complain about it being free on top of that! Plus, how much did PvZ cost originally, $7 or something, right? I really doubt you'll need to spend more than that to get a worthwhile experience. There's a big difference between free-to-play and freemium. Paying to permanently unlock characters isn't a problem to me, paying to win is. I guess we'll see...

    • wojovox

      This is the proper attitude. Just wait until it comes out and try and see to judge for yourself.

      Yes we can tell future behaviour from previous, but reviews come out after the fact. Right now it is all speculation; I will install this day 1 to see what it's like as I'm sure many people complaining here will too.

  • Hawaii Jeff

    Sadly, if FTP wasn't a big moneymaker for EA, they wouldn't make games FTP, right?

    Are casual consumers more to blame?....

  • TheFrost

    Just don't download it and leave it be and maybe they will notice our dislike for their un-trusty un-worthy new practices.

    We decide with our money, lets put it somewhere else, for example IAP-free games.

  • tom riddle

    Are you kidding me what about android users we love PVZ too you know.

  • 28monkeys

    Just get it for free and crack it.

    • tom riddle

      that's what i'll have to do.

  • TheNorthernSkeptic

    Wow. I know you guys hate IAP, but you're condemning a game you haven't seen yet. If its functionally the same as PvZ but you can buy a few bells and whistles, so what?

  • echo_pdx

    This is more depressing than last night's Game of Thrones

  • Ollivar Frank

    I'm flipping bricks. Time to take a trip back to the garden.

  • Tranceaholic

    I'll be fine with this game as long as you just pay some money to unlock certain items or content forever. No paying for consumables, no timers, and especially NO PAYWALLS, PLEASE!

  • Oka-mi

    This immediately made me lose all interest in the game. :/

  • sweetdiss

    For every comment that loudly proclaims to avoid downloading this out of some misguided stand against the unthinkable horrors of freemium, I will gift PvZ2 to three of my friends. So go ahead and complain.

    • Zeldaniac

      I hope you have 300 friends.

    • Zeldaniac

      Besides we (at least the intelligent ones) aren't against all IAP ever. It's just that EA specifically has a terrible reputation with it and will therefore likely run the game (and by extension, PopCap <3) into the grouc.

      • Zeldaniac

        *ground

      • TheFrost

        You arent against IAP and consider yourself intelligent? You know where is this going to right? Like in a couple of yesrs or perhaps even less? Maybe you need to change the perception you have from yourself?

      • Zeldaniac

        Have you ever played a game with tasteful IAP? Sure, they're few and far between, but they do exist. My favorite example is Heroes And Castles: the IAP is there ONLY to get a quick boost in the game or to support the devs. Its not necessary AT ALL to buy it.

        I honestly don't think In-App Purchases will be the great downfall of mobile gaming. Either freemium will continue and the casual gamers can have mobile as their own platform, or people will get sick of it and premium games will rise from the dead.

        Also it's not necessary to say I have a wrong perception of myself simply by stating that I think ny position is an intelligent one. Insults aren't arguments, no matter what anyone says.

    • TheFrost

      Go ahead, you will regret it when every single game will be freemium in the near future...

      • Zeldaniac

        Wow. I can't find myself agreeing eith either of you. You're both at two extremes of the spectrum, but there is a happy middle.

  • chank

    I don't care if this ends up being good or not! I still plan on not liking it! (End sarcasm)

  • TheFrost

    No, at the beginning people didn't know what they were supporting, if we knew, we wouldn't have this conversation right now

    • Edmund Ching

      as you said, that's at the beginning. After all the ville games, after all the card battlers' constantly being localized, after so many kingdom/city/clan building games, this is no longer the beginning, and they are still dominating the Top grossing charts. In other words, the supply had not decrease even after "knowing" what we are supporting.

  • King Random

    Everybody in the comments is pretty much talking only about the F2P factor about it.

    On a more positive note, I loved the trailer.
    Lol xD

  • TeddyNYC

    Free to start playing, expensive to enjoy/finish. Well, I hope you can purchase a fully unlocked version for $15 or less. I don't want to worry each time I start playing a level if I'll need to spend more money just to finish that level. I don't want to be cheap, but at the same time I don't want to be taken advantage of either and end up paying $25 or more to enjoy this "free" game and recapture the experience of the original game.

  • TeddyNYC

    Developers should be forced to let any potential buyer know in specific details what's included in the free or 99 cents version, and what's not. They should also be forced to release a fully-unlocked version at the same time they release the free or inexpensive version (so we'll know how much they really want from us beforehand).

  • john360

    Zombies looks like the guy from the mask lol

  • ihd1234567890

    since everyone is talkin about IAPs, and like rebellion crap, why cant we just somehow try to somehow get this wholeeeeee conversation to the devs, that would be awesome. But that is quite impossible for me to imagine how.