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Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare gets micro-transactions

"Players will be given the option to purchase coins"

Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is the latest EA title to offer gamers the chance to speed up their progress with micro-transactions. The changes will be made to the game sometime this week.

"Players will be given the option to purchase coins from the Sticker Shop, which allows players the ability to access new packs and character content more quickly - all the same content that can be earned through regular gameplay," said producer Brian Lindley.

"Now you have the choice to play your way; you can play to get new packs and content via earned coins in the game, or you can purchase coins to get more of the packs and content you want right away."

The game was developed by PopCap and released in February, and soon after PopCap marketing manager Gary Clay confirmed on Twitter that all DLC for the title would be free. The game is currently only available on Xbox 360 and Xbox One, and is priced at around 30.

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Latest comments (14)

Samuel Verner Game Designer 2 years ago
So this is a retail game for 30 bucks and now they want to nickel and dime the buyers of the game with microtransactions like in a Free-2-Play title? I really hope this game will fail, because these practices are disgusting. The producers (and the team) of this game should be ashamed of this.

But hey, keep going EA, I am sure you can become "Worst American Company" next time again!

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Samuel Verner on 28th April 2014 10:22am

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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 2 years ago
Being Devil's Advocate, I think it comes down to how PVZ:GW has been designed, and whether EA now shift their focus onto the microtransaction model (for instance, going back on saying that all DLC will be free). If they do, then, yes, indeed, 30 bucks + nickel-and-diming is a poor thing to do (and that's understating it).

But, all that said, BF3 and 4 both have weapon and upgrade bundles as microtransaction short-cuts, and they are simply that - short-cuts to cut out the grinding for certain weapons/upgrade paths. If PVZ:GW is the same - if the basic design of the game and future decisions over it remain unchanged - then there's worse things to complain about.

Also, I'm almost certain that this was kind-of-known to be coming from day of release, though I think it was implied - something along the line of "No plans for microtransactions at release".

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 28th April 2014 10:32am

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Andrew Watson Tools Programmer 2 years ago
Is anyone surprised by this?
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Show all comments (14)
Samuel Verner Game Designer 2 years ago
do have a link to imformation which proofs that microtransactions worked in mass effect 3? there where also a lot of negative feedback of the players and the media about it. i doubt that it was a good idea for them in the end.

you also making a big mistake in your assuptions, when you say "If designed and implemented correctly, it won't affect the core players, but can offer more variety and options to casual gamers who don't mind paying."

if microtransactions are succcessfull in a game, then they affect the gameplay on a negative way. a long grind for example harms the flow of the game, but creates demand for microtransactions. you cannot have both - either you build the best possible game experience, or you build one which monetizes good. core gamer prefer the first option.

Edited 4 times. Last edit by Samuel Verner on 28th April 2014 12:09pm

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Anthony Gowland Consulting F2P Game Designer, Ant Workshop2 years ago
Putting micro transactions in a game doesn't make you the worst company in America, no matter what gamers with a complete lack of perspective may believe.
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Samuel Verner Game Designer 2 years ago
Putting micro transactions in a game doesn't make you the worst company in America, no matter what gamers with a complete lack of perspective may believe.
thats right, but putting them into a buy 2 play game like garden warfare will increase the chances a lot to get the title next time :-)
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Neow Shau Jin Studying Bachelor in Computer Science, Universiti Sains Malaysia2 years ago
@Samuel

agreed, I grinded and unlocked all the characters for Mass Effect 3. But the entire system is designed around making the players goes through insurmountable grind to entice players to pay to buy pack to unlock weapons and characters. Play through 9 rounds of a 10 rounds multiplayer game and disconnect at the last round? Tough luck, not a single credit for you . I bought one pack everytime they release a dlc as a show of goodwill, but that's really it. As much as I enjoyed Mass Effect series, by the end of the grind, I am totally burn out, not monetary, but literally tired of the Mass Effect gameplay due to I've grinded so much. I would say it is very likely that I won't buy the next Mass Effect.
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Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital2 years ago
IF the micro transactions are implemented as they say - only to give you a shortcut to the later stages of game, then I don't see a problem with it. Everyone is free to cut their fully-priced game's time in half by paying more money.
But if they also adjust a few numbers here and there...to make the grind longer and enemies tougher... then they deserve the $hit$torm that is coming because of the micro transactions...
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Samuel Verner Game Designer 2 years ago
But if they also adjust a few numbers here and there...to make the grind longer and enemies tougher... then they deserve the $hit$torm that is coming because of the micro transactions...
so what does make them stop to this once it is in? nothing. microtransactions shouldn't be in a product the player payed upfront for.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Samuel Verner on 28th April 2014 2:36pm

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Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital2 years ago
@ Samuel: Nothing stops them... except maybe for common sense, morale and customer loyalty :-) Not that EA has any of that, true. The sad fact is that EA is in a process of killing the PvZ brand. Which is a shame. I wonder which one of my favorite brands will they destroy (after Dungeon Keeper and PvZ) next.
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 2 years ago
I wonder which one of my favorite brands will they destroy (after Dungeon Keeper and PvZ) next.
My bets are on a f2p Road Rash where you have to buy realistic amounts of gas at current UK street prices.

Or you could be an optimist and point towards Sims 4, which is single player offline, atm.
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Jed Ashforth Senior Game Designer, Immersive Technology Group, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe2 years ago
IF the micro transactions are implemented as they say - only to give you a shortcut to the later stages of game, then I don't see a problem with it.
@ Jakub - Each to his own, but ... If the customer has bought the game then they already own those later stages of the game. In no sensible world is it fair for the game to charge me again to access content I've already paid for. You don't buy the cookies then pay again if you want to get more than one at a time out of the cookie jar. They're yours. You should be able to do what you want with them.

Let's not forget we have traditionally included cheat codes to access those later levels, or free play modes where it's available, so that the player still has ways to access the stuff they've paid for if they can't /don't want to get there through the authored 'campaign' structure. These 'time saving' payments are nonsense of course. They're only there to bypass restrictions the designers have engineered into the game.

Once upon a time we worked to get our players to get so involved and addicted that they'd want to see the whole of our creation - now we've learned lots of tricks and methodologies to succeed at that, and the prevailing mentality seems to be shifting towards using that against players, and making them pay to feed their addiction at every juncture we can get away with it. To my mind, that's a very significant and fundamental shift that's not healthy for players, or (arguably) for the long term reputation of the medium.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jed Ashforth on 29th April 2014 2:02pm

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Matthew Bennett 3D Engine developer, Sitedesk2 years ago
Not surprised by this move, but still, I don't like where this whole 'micro-transactions in full priced titles' thing is going. I imagine it won't take much to ruin the balance of your game in order to wear your consumers down to the point where they have to use micro-transactions if they want to keep playing.

I'm not about to call EA out as some sort of evil mega-corp (because that's silly, nobody wants to actively kill their own reputation) and I don't disagree with micro-transactions, DLC, expansions or any other post release monetisation strategy. I just think in some companies it's being executed in a very non-consumer friendly way, it seems like they are letting people who aren't in touch with their customers (marketing departments and CEOs with Business/Sales backgrounds) call the shots on some of these decisions and they are unknowingly causing a massive amount of backlash and not fully understanding why.
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Nate Ballantyne QA Manager, Aardman Animations2 years ago
I'd hate to think that if this practise is adopted by other publishers, gameplay is actually made more difficult for the player, encouraging the player to purchase these 'micro-transactions'. As soon as someone can spot the signs, chances are they will capitalise on it. A freemium that isn't actually free? No thanks.
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