EA has stealth launched Plants vs. Zombies Battle for Neighborville, a fresh spin on the popular Plants vs. Zombies series. The new game offers class-based shooting gameplay as well as multiplayer modes and social spaces as EA tries to make money by launching another live service title.
After weeks of rumors, Plants vs. Zombies Battle for Neighborville is now available in early access for those who purchase the Founder’s Edition. This Founder’s Edition costs $30 and allows players to enjoy its undead and vegetable combat and earn progress weeks before launch. For everyone else, the game will launch on PC, PS4, and Xbox One on October 18, 2019.
The series has been around for more than a decade, mostly making money from the casual crowd, but Battle for Neighborville is part of EA’s efforts to take the series to the next level. There are 20 customizable character classes to choose from, a player versus environment mode, and six online multiplayer modes. Just one, a four versus four-player versus player mode called Battle Arena, but it means that there’s huge room for co-operative and competitive Plants vs. Zombies fun.
There will also be three free roam areas to explore, with names like the Fortnite map. Plants vs. Zombies Battle for Neighborville will offer regions like the Weirding Woods, Goopy Gully, and the Ruiny Ruins. There’s a social space too, as players can go to Giddy Park with up to three players and go on theme park rides, play the piano or just fight plants, or zombies.
The Plants vs. Zombies series has done incredibly well for itself, making money as a PC game and as a free to play mobile title, but Battle for Neighborville could have the potential to be more of a money maker. EA, like many games publishers, sees that there is huge money to be made from live service games which keep being updated with new content that keeps people playing and spending.
Several EA series are live services. There’s Star Wars Battlefront 2, the FIFA and Madden sports simulation games, and the less successful attempt at a sci-fi RPG live service title with BioWare’s Anthem. Plants vs. Zombies Battle for Neighborville has only just been released and it’s difficult to say whether the game will be a huge success, but looking at the response from fans to the trailer, this could be EA’s next live service hit.