Electronic Arts and PopCap Games released the most teasing of teaser trailers for Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 on Monday. While the trailer doesn't necessarily have anything to see, it does provide a hint that the cartoon-ish third-person shooter may follow its predecessor by being a timed Xbox One exclusive.
The Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 trailer is approximately 30 seconds worth of sounds, no video footage, and the cutesy tagline of "Get ready to soil your plants." The sounds are from the gameplay of the first game. However, it's the message at the very end which promises an "exclusive worldwide reveal" on Monday, June 15, during the Xbox E3 2015 media briefing that is the interesting bit.
Will suburbia ever be the same? http://t.co/rRcs4zLG6kFans of the original Garden Warfare may remember that the game launched on the Xbox One and Xbox 360 first on February 25, 2014, followed by a PC release at the end of June, 2014. It wasn't until August 19 that the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3 received the comedic shooter. This is par for the course for PopCap Games, though, as the developer released Plants vs. Zombies and its sequel on a single platform at a time, too.
— Plants vs. Zombies (@PlantsvsZombies) June 8, 2015
The new Garden Warfare 2 looks like it will follow a similar schedule. Electronic Arts listed a new Plants vs. Zombies title for its fiscal year fourth quarter 2016, January through March 2016, in its most recent shareholder statement. Putting the game's debut trailer in the middle of the Xbox E3 press briefing strongly suggests that another timed exclusivity arrangement has been made between Microsoft and EA.
The original Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is a surprisingly fun shooter. There were some negatives when it came to the limitations of local split-screen play, but it was a solid and fun effort for PopCap Games' first attempt at a shooter.
The developer continued to provide strong support for the game post-release with free content upgrades. New maps, modes, and characters were all released with no additional charge. Yes, the game does feature in-game micro-transactions to purchase "sticker packs" to unlock characters. However, this model allowed PopCap to keep the player base playing the same content and not divide it up between who purchased what map pack.
Turtle Rock's Evolve went with a similar model at release, while Titanfall 2 developer Respawn Entertainment has mentioned they are considering doing the same.
One thing to watch out for will be if Electronic Arts and PopCap finally abandon the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Ubisoft has already declared it will no longer publish games for last-gen consoles, and the entire industry appears to be making that transition with the 2015 holiday releases.
[Images via Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare]