Diamond Select Toys, Popcap to Launch Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare Toys

ZombiesGroup1Next month, Diamond Select Toys will launch toys inspired by the Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare game. Each “bloom and doom” action figure two-pack will include one plant and one zombie, both based on designs from the video game. The assortment includes Gatling Pea with Scientist Zombie, Camo Cactus with Foot Soldier Zombie, Chomper with Engineer Zombie, and Shadow Flower with All-Star Zombie. Two box sets of Minimates mini-figures will also be available in early September. The toys will be available at comic shops, specialty stores, and Toys “R” Us.

In addition, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is coming to the PlayStation 4 console, and is already available for the Xbox One and PC platforms. The game is a traditional online shooter blended with the humor of Plants vs. Zombies.

COMMENTARY: Video Game-Based Toys Can Ease Kids into Other Kinds of Play

KNEX.SuperMarioDesertIt’s summertime, which for a lot of kids means playing outside in the sunshine, swimming, and maybe even going on trips to visit nature. But for others, summer means staying indoors and playing video games all day. It’s probably best to moderate any activity that involves staring at a screen; however, the question is, how to get video game-obsessed kids to take up a different form of play? The answer may be toys based on popular video game titles, and there are quite a few of those available right now.

We kick off our non-comprehensive list with K’NEX, which since 2010, has partnered with Nintendo on construction toys based on its popular Mario property. Recently, I spoke to an executive at the company, who said that no small part of the partnership’s success came from replicating game elements in K’NEX’s construction sets: For example, many of its Super Mario building sets have a mechanism that simulates the avatar’s in-game jumping ability. [Read more...]

Green Gang vs. Gangrene: Plants vs. Zombies Arrives on Xbox Systems

PlantsvsZombies.GardenWarfarePlants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare is now available from PopCap Games for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 in North America. The new multi-player shooter, based on the popular Plants vs. Zombies series, lets players choose a side and wage all-out war on plant or zombie enemies in a variety of gameplay modes.

The game features favorite items from the series, such as the Peashooter and Sunflower, along with a new cast of characters including Ice Cactus, Hot Rod Chomper, and all kinds of zombies. Players can select from two 12 vs. 12 competitive multiplayer modes called Garden & Graveyards and Team Vanquish, or a four-player cooperative mode called Garden Ops. Customization options give players an opportunity to personalize plants and zombies with costumes, items, hats, and more, some of which provide new abilities to characters.

The Xbox One version includes two additional modes, the first of which allows for local cooperative split screen for multiple players. The second is Boss Mode, which allows for a third friend to join via a SmartGlass device, and is also available on Kinect for a full screen experience.

A digital version of Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare can also be downloaded for Xbox One or Xbox 360.

PopCap Launches Peggle 2 for Xbox One

PopCap logoPopCap, a division of Electronic Arts Inc. has launched Peggle 2, available exclusively for Microsoft’s Xbox One. Peggle 2, a sequel to the original puzzle game, has tons of new features and is available from the Xbox Live Games Stores.

Key features of this game include five Peggle Masters, each with multiple costumes, 60 all-new gameplay levels, 60 all-new trials, 180 objectives, achievements and  1,000G to collect, Peg Party mode for multiplayer fun, high-definition graphics and orchestral audio specific to each Master, and Kinect gesture and voice commands for in-game and menu controls in some markets.

Plants vs. Zombies Declares Garden Warfare on Xbox Systems

PlantsvsZombies.GardenWarfarePopCap Games, a division of Electronic Arts Inc., has announced that Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare will be shipping for the Xbox One and Xbox 360 video game systems on February 18 in North America and February 20 in Europe. The game is a third-person multiplayer shooter that lets players become favorite characters from the franchise.

Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare features 3-D worlds, more than 10 maps, and three distinct modes, including two competitive, multiplayer modes called Garden & Graveyards and Team Vanquish. There is also a four-player cooperative mode called Garden Ops. In Garden & Graveyards, plants must defend their garden bases from zombies attempting to turn them into graveyards. Players can also square off in Team Vanquish and try to send the other team to the compost pile. Meanwhile, Garden Ops lets gamers work together to battle off waves of zombies on the attack.

In the Xbox One version, Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare includes two extra modes: local cooperative split screen and Boss Mode. With split screen, players can team up with a friend to fight endless hordes of zombies, while in Boss Mode, gamers utilize their Kinect or SmartGlass device in any of the other gameplay modes to support their respective teams.

Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare is available for pre-order at major retailers nationwide and at www.origin.com. A PC version will be released at a later date.

PopCap Launches Plants vs. Zombies 2

plantsvzombiesPopCap Games has released the Plants vs. Zombies 2 game. The sequel to Plants vs. Zombies will initially be available exclusively for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Featuring a time travel theme, Plants vs. Zombies 2 is free to play and can be found on the App Store around the world in seven different languages with additional languages supported soon. The game will be available for other platforms later this year. PopCap also unveiled the official launch trailer for Plants vs. Zombies 2 on its YouTube channel.

Designed as an ever-expanding universe that will offer regular updates including new worlds full of new plants, zombies, and challenges beyond the first three that comprise the initial game, Plants vs. Zombies 2 extends the gameplay of the original game and provides players with dozens of new levels, plants, and zombies. While the vast majority of the game is entirely free to play, Plants vs. Zombies 2 players can also purchase upgrades and other in-game items.

In addition to new places, Plants vs. Zombies 2 includes a variety of gameplay enhancements, including Plant Food, which drops from glowing zombies and offers a temporary but powerful boost to plant attacks. Plants vs. Zombies 2 also includes new gesture-based power-ups that enable players to interact with zombies directly and  augment their plant defenses. Other features include touch screen power ups, side missions, and mini games.

Social Gaming Surges, According to New Report

According to a new 2011 gaming report, reported by Gamasutra.com, 118.5 million people now play social games at least once a week, up 71 percent compared to results from last year.

The 2011 PopCap Social Gaming Research survey, conducted by Information Solutions Group and commissioned by PopCap, also found that 81 million people play social games at least once a day. Additionally, spending on social games has risen dramatically. The report found that 31 million players have spent money on in-game purchases, up 86 percent compared to last year.

In terms of age, 30 percent of social gamers are under age 30 (19 percent last year), and 20 percent of U.S. social gamers are over age 60. In the UK, that number drops to just 7 percent.

[Read more...]