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PopCap won't ditch iPhone support for iPad development

7:00 PM on 02.02.2010 // Brad Nicholson

News of the delay of Plants vs. Zombies iPhone came suspiciously close to the Apple's announcement of the iPad. As it turns out, developer PopCap Games has nothing up their sleeves -- not yet, at least.

"Plants vs. Zombies is a complex game and it simply took a little longer for us to be happy with the adaptation to iPhone," Andrew Stein, PopCap's director of mobile business development, told me via e-mail. "It will be launched on iPhone well before the release of the iPad."

The casual games studio -- which has created games for Mac, PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Facebook and several mobile platforms -- does seem to have the slightest interest in Apple's unreleased toy. Responding to what excites PopCap the most about the iPad, Stein said design changes might be invigorating.

"PopCap loves to see devices that offer new experiences and force us to look at our games and rethink how we can make the best game using those new features."

Digging a bit deeper, I asked Stein what excited him the most as a developer, as opposed to a studio, and a consumer as well.

"As a developer, the iPad offers the same easy development environment as the iPhone but amps that up with tremendous technical specs and a potential whole new way for somebody to interact with a game," he said. 

"As a consumer, the iPad has the potential to kickstart a whole new wave of creative innovation similar to the wave kicked off by the launch of the App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch."

PopCap wouldn't confirm plans to create for the iPad, but Stein said that if the studio were to make a game, it wouldn't be a port. PopCap also won't abandon the iPhone or iPod Touch should they put their eyes on the new handheld.

"We always make games that take best advantage of the platform on which they’re offered.  If we make iPad specific games, they will not just be upscaled versions of our iPhone games."

"We’ve been a leader for the iPhone and our Bejeweled 2 is one of the top selling apps of all time in the App Store so we’ll definitely continue to support the iPhone and iPod touch."

So, how would PopCap go about developing for the iPad? The same way they always attack a new platform.

"PopCap approaches every platform the same way -- what is the best way for us to bring our games to this platform?  How will the consumer interact with it?  What features can we add to make a better game experience?  What do we need to think about in terms of user interface?  And so forth.

"As we’re fond of saying, we don’t port, we adapt – we keep the essence of what makes our games and then rebuild them to take best advantage of the features offered by the specific device."

[image cred]

Brad Nicholson,
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