Plants vs Zombies 2 soft launches in Australia today

By Steve Watts, Jul 09, 2013 2:00pm PDT

Plans vs Zombies 2 may be "about time," but it's also about location. Following a delay, PopCap has announced that it will be issuing a soft launch in Australia and New Zealand today, to test various aspects of the game before its full release worldwide.

Polygon reports that the time down under will let PopCap test server capacity, cloud saving, and its free-to-play monetization structure. The company wanted to launch in a region that was smaller but otherwise similar to North America, according to senior producer Allen Murray.

Players who get in on the game now will probably see prices fluctuate as it observes player behavior to get the in-app purchases right. This version also won't be quite complete, as PopCap plans to have six more premium plants available in the store at launch. More plants will be available every few months.

PopCap stresses, though, that the entire game will be available without paying up. "Our philosophy is to not be heavy-handed and very soft in our approach," Murray said. "Anyone with enough time and skill can unlock all content. But we have a unique challenge in that the game is widely loved by kids and grandparents, casual players and hardcore players, and everyone in between. It's a challenge to design something that will work for all audiences."

He says they want to make sure it's a "fun, really stable experience," and the delay will ensure that critical parts like player save data doesn't go down. A North American date has not been set.

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