PopCap Games talks Plants vs. Zombies on other platforms

PopCap Games isn’t afraid to spread the love — Feeding Frenzy, Zuma, Heavy Weapon, and flagship title Peggle debuted on the PC, but ultimately found cozy homes on multiple platforms. After playing PopCap’s latest title, Plants vs. Zombies, I couldn’t help salivating at the thought of having the zany quasi-tower defense on one of my consoles or mobile devices.

So, I asked PopCap’s direction of public relations, Garth Chouteau, about the possibility of PvZ on other platforms and how the mouse-friendly controls would translate to a controller.

“We’re always contemplating where – and how – to adapt our games, from consoles to mobile devices to the seatbacks on airplanes,” Chouteau told me via e-mail. “We’ve not made any specific decisions re: PvZ at this time, we’re still celebrating getting it out the door for PC and Mac! (FWIW, PvZ is the first of our games to launch on both PC and Mac simultaneously :)”

“As for how the controls would translate, I think the simple answer is that we design our games so they require very basic input controls regardless of the game’s complexity or pace or etc. If you can play PvZ with one mouse button, you can play it with a joystick and one joypad button, logically…”

In the same e-mail, I asked if PvZ could make an appearance on the iPhone, Nintendo DS, or even the PlayStation Portable. I also asked what challenges PopCap might encounter if they choose to develop for any of those platforms. Chouteau said that PopCap hasn’t made “any specific determinations yet,” but cited the screen size as a possible liability.

Hit the break for his  full answer.


“There’s certainly a chance PvZ will be adapted for the handheld systems you list, but we haven’t made any specific determinations in this regard as yet,” he said. “Obvious challenges would include making the on-screen action in PvZ – which gets pretty frantic in the later stages – easy to follow on a significantly smaller screen.

“Beyond that, we challenge ourselves with every adaptation to optimize/customize each game for the device in question. How could we take advantage of the iPhone’s accelerometer and DS’s dual screen and so forth.”

Plants vs. Zombies iPhone would wreck my life. Just saying.

Brad BradNicholson