As many of you know, Popcap has released a Chinese-exclusive version of Plants vs. Zombies 2. This version includes a new level, new zombies, and new plants. Today, I will talk about them, as well as Popcap's region lock policies. Keep in mind, though, that since they are Chinese exclusive, I have not had a chance to play them. Thus, this post is about my stance as an international version holder. So without further ado...
Tecku Talks About: Chinese Exclusive Content!
When one discusses the content China has gotten exclusively, one must first talk about why China has new content in the first place. When Popcap release the game in Asia, it was met with tons of piracy. China has almost no copyright protection for overseas work, so sellign the game was nearly impossible. Thus, Popcap countered by making the game popular enough to buy. To do this, they added in new material just for China, including a Anceint China-based level. And man, does it look beautiful! To learn more about it, you can look here.
The ancient China level has a great mechanic. The weapon rack system is genious, with a lot of new possible strategies opening up for the player. The plants and zombies are also great, with great design choices. Just a few examples include:
- Weapon racks were made out of wood, which made them weak to Fire Gourd.
- Hammer Zombie was balanced (unlike Jester Zombie), and the player was given more then enough ways to take him down. Fire Gourd and Bamboo Shoot could damage him, wheras regular plants could attack during the spin cooldown. Furthermore, Heavenly Peach could repair plants damaged by returned projectiles.
- Qui-Gong Zombie could be stopped by White Radish. However, since White Radish was weaker than most walling plants, players were encouraged to make use of Heavenly Peach or strong backup artillery to keep them from being destroyed.
So, despite the few number of new plants, the China level had more than enough depth to make it great. Popcap also updated pre-existing levels for China, such as adding in a Sphinx-themed boss for Egypt, as well as a new zombie and a new plant. This has helped PvZ explode in popularity in China, which is great for the franchise.
However, as much as I hate to say it, Popcap seems to maybe be giving too much attention to China. Don't get me wrong, I love seeing new PvZ stuff, wherever it may be but.... China really seems to be getting a LOT of new stuff lately, and we don't seem to be getting any of it. The Chinese level was fine, but now the've released the Dark Ages with new plants and mushrooms, and they've confirmed Chinese BWB will get exclusive content, and China is...... getting a new plant EVERY MONTH? What the heck? ....I understand that Chinese-exclusive content helps it sell, but.... can't we get the content after it helps sell the stuff?
I mean, besides Hammer Zombie becoming Jester Zombie and Qui-Gong Zombie becoming Fisherman Zombie, we haven't gotten ANY of the Chinese content. Is it really cost effective to NEVER try to sell the product internationally EVER? Especially when is you would have to do is translate the text description. Just give it to China first, then give it to us a few month later, after it sells in China.
All in all, I really hope we can get the Chinese stuff eventually. I'm willing to wait. Just don't forget about your main fanbase, Popcap.
Next time on Tecku Talks: The Laserang Conundrum
P.S. I don't know if Popcap itself designs the Chinese content, or does a local Chinese crew does it. However, I'm pretty sure either Popcap or EA has control over whether or not the content gets released internationally.