Plants vs. Zombies 2 Surpasses 25 Million Downloads
Non-iOS users might grit their teeth in frustration at the news, but here we go: Popcap's popular Plants vs. Zombies 2 title has officially racked up over 25 million total downloads. Just to give that number a little bit of extra context, it means that the sequel to 2009's Plants vs. Zombies tower defense game (of-sorts) has officially surpassed the total number of lifetime downloads of its predecessor – in just one month!
While we're a bit skeptical that these are the actual figures, versus approximations, Popcap has also come up with some additional accomplishments that Plants vs. Zombies 2 players have managed to rack up in their seemingly short time playing the game. That includes the defeat of 5.4 billion zombie waves, the planting of 10 billion plants, the generation of 39 billion suns (which power one's plant-building efforts, for those unfamiliar with the title), and the biggie — 81 million total hours played.
Amazingly enough, the game has achieved its milestone of popularity while still being an iOS exclusive as of this article's writing. However, there's also a pretty key difference between this follow-up title and the original Plants vs. Zombies that's surely helping to boost the download count. The latter was a traditional retail title that potential purchases had to pay for up-front in order to start their zombie-killing fun.
Plants vs. Zombies 2, however, is a freemium game. It costs nothing to download and play, but contains plenty of micro-transaction elements for those that want a richer, undead-thwarting experience. In many ways, it's analogous to how Popcap has treated its Facebook variant of Plants vs. Zombies. While you can progress through both titles without annoyance (the Facebook version does require you to enlist your friends to push into new levels), some of the game's more compelling elements – namely, plants with all kinds of crazy little powers – requires a cash contribution in order to unlock.
Impatient gamers can also "purchase" their way through the game by buying stars to unlock new levels instead of earning said stars through massive amounts of zombie-killing. And the same holds true for power-ups that give your plants a bit of a boost within the levels themselves.
As Joystiq's Mike Schramm notes, "Plant food can be purchased, which should make for an interesting balance when it comes to topping each level's leaderboards."
Publisher Electronic Arts hasn't given a concrete timetable for when Plants vs. Zombies 2 might be headed toward other platforms, aside from commenting that the game is expected to arrive on more devices "later this year and beyond."