Did Apple Pay Millions To Keep Plants Vs. Zombies 2 Off Android?


PopCap Games free-to-play Plants vs. Zombies 2 is a contentious game to many. If you’re our own good friend Buster Heine, you probably think it’s a masterpiece of a sequel, proof-positive that free-to-play can be done well in the right hands. If you’re me or my girlfriend, though, you likely think it is inferior to the first game in pretty much every way, and a perfect example of how free-to-play mechanisms can ruin an otherwise great game.

Whatever your feelings on the matter, you have to admit that getting Plants vs. Zombies 2 exclusively to iOS is quite the coup. According to EA, it’s a coup that Cupertino (get it?) was willing to pay buckets of money to get. But is that the truth?

According to Giant Bomb, an internal town hall meeting was held early Tuesday in which Frank Gibeau, the head of EA Labels, said: “Apple gave us a truckload of money to delay the Android version of Plants vs. Zombies 2.”

PopCap refused to comment, saying that they “can’t comment on internal meetings.” No help there.

It’s a heck of an allegation, and the fact that the words allegedly come straight from the mouth of someone who would know make it more damning. If Gibeau’s quote is accurate, Apple is working like a traditional game publisher like Microsoft or Sony, who pay money to lock-up exclusives from their competitors.

The problem? Apple is denying the entire thing, saying flat out that the story is “not true.” It seems hard to believe they would risk being exposed by denying the report when no one expects them to pipe up on stuff like this anyway. If there’s a hint of truth to a report Apple doesn’t want exposed, the most you’ll get from them usually is “we don’t comment on rumors or speculation.”

One thing is for sure: Plants vs. Zombies 2 will be a big success on Android when it’s finally released. It is already available on Android in China, where it’s apparently outgrossing the iOS version six-to-one. Imagine how high that number will go when it’s released on Google Play across all markets.