The casual mobile market is massive, becoming of ever increasing importance to the video game industry. Unlocking games to a huge new audience, ‘app’ gaming has changed the landscape of how publishers, developers and audiences interact with games on all levels. The evidence of the market’s influence on the industry isn’t hard to see, from AAA games that have started to experiment with free-to-play and micro-transaction pay models, to the fact that parents, and even grandparents, are picking up and playing hours worth of games.
One of the breakout titles in the casual market was Plants Vs. Zombies. Starting life on the PC and Mac in 2009, the game eventually went on to be ported to a plethora of platforms, like the Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network, DSiWare and even Google Chrome. However, it was the game’s migration to the mobile phone market, releasing on iOS, Android and Windows Phone that really cemented it as a powerful player in the ‘app’ market.
If there were any doubts the the game wasn’t among the most popular video games of all time, there can’t be now. On top of announcing a next-gen experience in Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (which we loved at E3), the franchise has finally released its previously delayed Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time. And the game has been selling like hot cakes.
PopCap revealed the initial download figures for the game and despite only releasing on Apple stores half a month ago, the game has already surpassed the amount of copies Plants Vs. Zombies ever “sold” (it’s a free download). Since the game’s launch on August 15th, it has been downloaded over 25 million times and has been played for 81 million hours. To put that in perspective, Angry Birds took around 4 months to reach 30 million downloads and for those of you keeping track, Plants Vs. Zombies 2 has been played for just over 9240 years.
It is worth noting that Plants vs. Zombies 2 is a free game that supports a micro-transactions pay structure. None of these 25 million downloads equate to sales and PopCap isn’t giving out the numbers when it comes to how much the game has actually grossed, or indeed, how much the game cost to make. However, with that big of an install base, it is safe to assume that the game is or will be profitable, and that it will continue to grow when the game is rolled out onto other devices in the future.
Plants Vs Zombies 2: It’s About Time is available now on iOS stores.