Paying for platform exclusivity is commonplace in the console world, but according to a report from Giant Bomb it looks like Apple might be dipping their toes in that practice as well. As the story goes, EA VP Frank Gibeau stated during an internal Town Hall meeting today that "Apple gave us a truckload of money to delay the Android version [of Plants vs Zombies 2]." It's not clear in what context or for what reason he was talking about such a deal, but Giant Bomb reports that the quote has been verified through sources who were at the meeting.

Interestingly, shortly after Apple issued a statement through a spokesperson stating that the Giant Bomb version of what happened is "not true" and that no money had exchanged hands, but wouldn't comment further on whether or not some form of exclusivity deal was in place between Apple and EA.


What I find interesting, if this story does turn out to be true, is that Apple seems to care enough about gaming on their platform to strike an exclusive for a big title, even if it's only a limited exclusivity (Plants vs. Zombies 2 is already available on Android in China and is due to the rest of the world in a month or so's time). Given Apple's flippant attitude towards gaming for most of their history, not just in the mobile era, it would be cool if they cared enough to go after an exclusive deal. Up until this point I've gotten the vibe that Apple views the success of gaming on iOS as some sort of happy accident, but maybe plays (or future plays) like this alleged deal might mean they want to take things to the next level as a competitor to dedicated handheld gaming systems.

That's if this story is even accurate, however. With game controller functionality on the horizon and the potential that our devices may plug into our living room screens to serve our gaming needs someday, we'll be keeping an eye on how hard Apple dives into the highly competitive dedicated gaming machine space.

Update: EA further clarified with a follow-up statement to us: β€œA comment from an internal meeting taken out of context has created an unfortunate misunderstanding. Reports of a paid relationship between Apple and EA are factually inaccurate, and we apologize for any confusion.”

[Giant Bomb]

  • ODMay

    Wow. :-/

  • C. Stubb

    They should have paid extra for a non-disclosure clause πŸ™‚

  • ElectromagneticMelaniePulse

    Gaming history books written in 2025 will remember this as the decade that Apple beat GameBoy. It's nice to see that Apple is at least starting to embrace their (+Android's) role as the future of portable gaming.

    • Karzay

      Especially now that Gameboy has been out of production for more than a decade.

    • Natalie Rath

      Gameboy? We have the Nintendo 3DS now πŸ™‚

  • drewpoc

    Like it or not, if apple wants to own the portable gaming market...they will.

    • WarMachine

      It's a shame the games are complete garbage.

  • Hiraether

    Die EA. This is for all our games you won't update or fix. EA now has 0 credibility. College athletes are slaves and ea owes them billions. Karma, noobs.

    • themostunclean

      Are you clueless? EA has nothing to do with it. The NCAA keeps college athletes unpaid and, along with the universities, makes most of the money off franchise rights. Saying EA is enslaving athletes is ludicrous.

  • luffy246

    So apple paid you ( EA ) a truckload of money and YET you make it looks worse than shit , shame on you

    • cozmic0

      what? How is PvZ2 worse than shit? Did you actually played the game? the IAP is as non-eseential as the IAP in Infinity Blade 3 plus IB 3 is actually a paid game, I don't see you bitching for that huh?

  • iAmTheWalrus

    I doubt Apple really cares that much about their mobile gaming; they probably want to keep it exclusive so people have to buy an Apple device to the game.

    • iAmTheWalrus

      play the game.

    • Morgan01

      There's allot of money to be made and Apple has a hand in every single games sold through the exclusive App Store. To even think that Apple has no interest is rediculous.

      • Biowhere


  • steinah6

    Could be true, they could be denying it to avoid upsetting shareholders. Seems like a poor use of resources.

  • zergslayer69

    Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't popcap owned by EA? If so why would they need to claim anything? They should know what kind of deals went on under the table.

  • Jay

    That would be interesting, but we still don't know the context of the statement. It could simply mean that Apple worked with the company closely, and that Apple's time is worth a lot of money. Or something equally as obfuscated.

    • swarmster

      Yeah. Could also be a reference to all the free advertising Apple gave them on the App Store and such, which is as good as cash.

      Weird story, though, since neither company really has cause to lie about their relationship, besides 'trade secret' I suppose. My guess, like you suggest, is that they're both right, depending on how you define payment.

  • Zaraf

    With Apple denying, I wonder if EA could use that to go ahead and publish to Android even if there was an exclusive deal.

  • anabolicMike

    Apple is up to something. Something is coming. I don't know what it is but I know something's coming. Hmmmm

    • Jay

      I'd like to believe that the new IPad will be able to run GTA 5. I wish! πŸ˜‰

  • Kirs

    EA jelly...

  • Goggles789

    All I thought about after reading this article was, "I wonder what the zombie sound like in the Chinese version?"

  • defunct32

    Don't see the appeal of this game, but no, I'm not looking down on it whatsoever, I just don't understand why would Apple pay "truckload of $" for this?

    • InfectiousRed

      You don't understand why a platform would want exclusivity of a top selling franchise just because the game doesn't appeal to you? Does this site have an age requirement?

      • defunct32

        So it's all about the money then... I see. There's no need to insult my maturity, though. Mr. Smarty-pants.

      • Edwin Ramirez

        It's always about the money. How young must you be to think otherwise?

  • Thomas Touzimsky

    "However, putting in all the IAP nonsense was our own idea."

  • Para Juegos

    I've played it, oh I won

  • ChubbyPig

    A bit surprised that EA would snap at Apple considering that a lot of gamers don't like the principles their marketing works under, 'new game' passes, crammed full of in-game purchases and premium prices. I remember when they were a respectable company. They turned Mass Effect into a money grab.

  • knownquantity

    EA has now retracted their statement.

  • ikari_paul

    fingers crossed that the next AppleTV has controller support an a beefed up graphics chip

    now that Sony is releasing VitaTV and Valve has just confirmed that its going to release a free SteamOS and SteamBox early next year, it would be great to see Apple show that it cares. competition is always great

  • Haliaeetus

    Did you ask what the correct context for that statement was? The phrase "truckloads of money" doesn't seem to be very contextually sensitive.