Late last month, we brought you the sad news that Plants vs. Zombies 2 had been delayed. Everyone with a July deadline celebrated, as PopCap pushed the game’s release back to “later in the summer“. Turns out, it wasn’t much later – the studio’s just soft-launched the game exclusively for Australian and New Zealand fans.
Senior Producer Allen Murray explains:
A lot has changed since the first Plants vs. Zombies shambled onto your devices a few years ago, and we’ve been hard at work to make Plants vs. Zombies 2 an incredible experience for everyone who plays. To that end, we are launching the game a bit early in Australia and New Zealand to help us test out all of the new systems and features we’ve built into the game. We’ve added a bunch of new features that allow us to take advantage of new technologies to make a better experience for our players, and those innovations require us to perform some large tests to make sure we are ready for our worldwide audience to play.
The early, “focused” launch has two major goals – testing to make sure the back-end server can cope with the sudden and inevitable influx of Plants vs. Zombies fans on Day One (that is, influx of players trying to download the game – you don’t need to be connected to play).
The second goal is simply to find out how gamers interact with the game on a much larger stage than any closed beta test to date.
If you happen to live in Australia or New Zealand, our test markets for the “soft launch,” please be sure to remember that we are going to be testing all sorts of different aspects of the game’s functionality, pricing, stability, etc. So don’t be surprised if you see lots of changes during this testing phase. We are looking to see how players interact with the game so we can make sure we are making the best Plants vs. Zombies 2 experience possible!
There’s still no release date for the rest of the world, but we are promised that it is “coming your way very soon”. Looks like the studio’s sticking to the “later in the (North American) summer” – and there’s still a couple of months left of that.
In the meantime, if you’re in the right part of the globe, head to the App Store. Plants vs. Zombies 2 is out now, it’s free, and it’s going to make everybody very distracted.