In a rather unexpected surprise, PopCap has announced that Plants vs Zombies 3 is well into development and soon to be released. Get ready to defend your lawn once again with the next installment of nature vs. the undead!
The developers added a FAQ about the development of the game, giving us some insight into what lies ahead. To begin, fans who might want to play the game and test it out can try to access the pre-alpha on the Google Play Store, though as of the time of this writing, it has already filled up. PopCap has stated that more spots will open soon for testing, so keep an eye out!
For those interested in testing the game, be aware that like most alpha or beta builds, progress is usually wiped at regular intervals. The developers also state that the game will be free to play and allude to microtransactions coming back as they state that “There are no microtransactions during Pre-Alpha”. This lack of microtransactions during pre-alpha testing likely goes back to the idea of having consumers make purchases but then progress being wiped, probably along with those purchases.
For anyone interested in the pre-alpha, PopCap says that users will need at least a Galaxy S7 or higher for specs, with Android 6.0 (Marshmallow), while iOS users will need to wait a bit longer before any kind of testing is planned.
Speaking of microtransactions, we need to have a serious conversation about how the game will be monetized compared to its predecessors. Most players of the first Plants vs Zombies game fell in love with the simple formula and engaging tower defense style mechanics, only for its sequel to be ruined by EA’s all-but patented pattern of in-game purchases.
While the first game was purchasable all in one go on Steam, usually for about $10, the second game was free to play. However, many of the plants from the original game were locked behind microtransactions that totaled about $20, among other purchases. If one searches for the second game in the series and looks up reviews, almost everyone has the same frustrations.
Will Plants vs. Zombies 3 stay the course and maintain unpopular microtransactions, or will it perhaps do something that is improved, such as the base game for free and cosmetic purchases for real money? For now we can only speculate, but with EA involved, history demands that we assume the worst.