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Apple Denies Paying EA to Delay Plants vs. Zombies 2 on Android [UPDATED]

Frank Gibeau, head of EA Labels, told EA employees the delay was due to a "truckload" of money from Apple.

UPDATE: Apple is denying the substance of the comments made by Gibeau.

A company spokesperson described Giant Bomb's story as "not true" and said no money was exchanged.

When these deals are made in the games industry, it's often a co-marketing deal, not a briefcase full of cash. It's possible Gibeau meant this but chose his words poorly. When asked whether Apple and EA had brokered an agreement regarding iOS exclusivity, the company would not disclose any details on its relationships.

Giant Bomb stands by the original quoting of Gibeau's comments.

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Except in China, Plants vs Zombies 2 has only launched on iOS, and there is a very good reason for it: Apple reportedly paid for it.

This detail was revealed during an internal town hall meeting held earlier today for publisher Electronic Arts.

“Apple gave us a truckload of money to delay the Android version [of Plants vs Zombies 2],” said Frank Gibeau, head of EA Labels.

Giant Bomb confirmed the quote with several sources who watched the presentation today.

It is unclear what a “truckload of money” means, and we have no further details on the apparent agreement between Apple and EA. Apple has not yet responded to my requests for comment.

"We can't comment on internal meetings," said a PopCap representative.

What it does indicate, however, is that Apple is acting more like a traditional video game platform holder than we might have previously speculated. Such deals are common in the hypercompetitive games industry.

What would drive Apple to strike such a deal with EA? Plants vs. Zombies 2 has launched on Android in China, and it’s outselling the iPhone version of the game six-to-one in that market, according to comments from Gibeau. He also told the crowd the Android version should be released everywhere else in a month or so, which would jive with EA’s previous “fall 2013” comments.

Plants vs Zombies 2 has been an enormous success for developer PopCap Games and EA, having been downloaded more than 25 million times already. The game has been lauded for being a worthy sequel, albeit not without intense scrutiny for switching to a free-to-play model.

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Posted by NJerseyBoy

Since no one has said it... SCOOOOOPS!!!!

Posted by EatAllGames

This and the iPhone 5c may indicate that Steve Jobs may have been holding Apple back from aggressively going after two markets he didn't like: gamers and the conservative spenders. It will be interesting to see if they lose there "Eliteness" as a result of these decisions.

Online
Edited by KaneRobot

Gee, and I seem to recall Apple always saying they weren't worried about Android competition.

I guess holding a smaller and smaller market share will change even the most arrogant minds.

Edited by niamahai

Giantbomb.

The sneakiest of press sneak fucks.

Posted by MTSaSquatch

@phished0ne: someboday call Google, Truck Wars is on.

Posted by BD_Mr_Bubbles
Edited by Xeirus

I don't know why but "Giant Bomb stands by the original quoting of Gibeau's comments." sounds super bad ass to me. It makes me feel like Patrick is calling out Apple's bullshit

It is badass. Apple basically called Patrick a liar and he just says "Nope, it's you"

Posted by jasondesante

"Giant Bomb stands by the original quoting of Gibeau's comments."

Patrick you da man!

Posted by afterland

Uh Patrick is confirming that that is what Gibeau said, not taking some moral stand against Apple.

This isn't anything new. They brokered a deal for exclusivity. Not only that, Android isn't exactly a cash cow. It's win win for PopCap.

Posted by smcn

@xeirus said:

@murderslingshot said:

I don't know why but "Giant Bomb stands by the original quoting of Gibeau's comments." sounds super bad ass to me. It makes me feel like Patrick is calling out Apple's bullshit

It is badass. Apple basically called Patrick a liar and he just says "Nope, it's you"

I think the point is it might have been a poor choice of words on Gibeau's part but the words quoted are accurate.

Posted by mpgeist

Since no one has said it... SCOOOOOPS!!!!

SCOOOOOOOPS! Git em!

Posted by Lyfeforce

I know that gaming : Apple :: water : vinegar is an outdated notion, but it's still funny to see Cupertino making a move to support something gaming related.

Posted by RonGalaxy

Patrick has been breaking a lot of big stories lately! Its awesome!

Edited by Akyho

@megasoum

:

@professoress

: The news at the start is "Apple has paid for Exclusivity on Android" thats news, since I am sure there are Android owners wondering if it will come to Android. More so if its already available for Chinese Android market, its a little amiss that china has it on android and everywhere else doesn't.

The main part of the news is being told by an EA rep they were "paid truckloads of money" by apple for the exclusivity. Then apple denies what an EA rep said to a room full of journalists. Its the fact one of these two parties are lying and the EA dude used some weird terms.

So someone is lying and people just don't like being lied too. If apple was open about it this wouldn't be much news than a simple "Its exclusive to apple for a time period." everyone wanting it on android would just go "aww." instead there are lies involved and a certain amount of "unfairity" due to Chinese having it on android already which this makes it a concerning issue.

Posted by RE_Player1

This is huge. Shows that Apple has moved on from Steve Job's core philosophies and sees gaming as a viable revenue stream. I expect other deals of this nature in future leaving us Android users in the dust.

Posted by jaks

I'm not sure why this would surprise anyone. Like EA doesn't have the resources for a simultaneous launch?

Apple can keep this money whoring F2P shitfest anyway.

Edited by JesterPC238

It's weird that Apple's being cagey about it, it's not like there's anything wrong with exclusivity deals.

Posted by Wuddel

Man, thats so petty.

Posted by Elwoodan

What I don't understand is why, the amount of people who own both Android and Apple devices can't be that huge, and I refuse to believe that PvZ is a killer app which sells devices.

This just seems like paranoia coming from Apple.

Edited by YukoAsho

Interesting that Apple is denying this now. It's a sad day indeed when I find myself believing EA more than anyone else in a confrontation.

@pxabstraction said:

"What would drive Apple to strike such a deal with EA? Plants vs. Zombies 2 has launched on Android in China, and it’s outselling the iPhone version of the game six-to-one in that market"

But...but...I thought no one bought software on Android, especially in China where everyone supposedly pirates everything. At least, that's what the tech press constantly says and the tech press is always based in astutely researched facts!

Well, free-to-play is ENORMOUS in Southeast Continental Asia. It's pretty much the only way to make money on software over there, and it apparently works like a motherfucker.

Posted by turboskerv

I like the way you report in articles Pat, keep it up!

Posted by PandaBear

I heard that Microsoft apparently used a boat load of cash to get Epic to create Gears of War!! SCANDAL!

My friend said his dad works for Sony and that they paid a car boot full of cash to get The Witness exclusive on the PS4.

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Apple bought an exclusive in territories outside of China. Isn't this normal practice in this industry? I mean this is a quote from an internal meeting held in a town hall! It's hardly WikiLeaks level of secrecy going on here. Some kid probably stuck his head in through the window and heard this.

Edited by BisonHero

@niamahai said:

Giantbomb.

The sneakiest of press sneak fucks.

Word.

Posted by flippyandnod

No company should be allowed to do this. It's one thing to pay to develop a game that might not otherwise come to fruition. But to just pay (even with comarketing) to make your competitor's platform worse (even for a while) is anti-competitive.

It sucked with Rock Band 2. It sucks with this.

Posted by radioactivez0r

I know you can't reveal sources, but how did you even find out about this quote? Do you know someone at EA who came to you first, or was it like "LOL he totally said this" and the reporter in you ran with it?

Posted by BenderUnit22

@mnzy said:

@benderunit22 said:

I don't know why this is a news story, regardless of whether it's true or not. For one, is PvZ2 such a huge blockbuster game that people care about it that much? I mean, the Bombcast was pretty sour on it after the whole micro-transaction deal.

Secondly, the practice of "buying" exclusivity is nothing new. Microsoft has done it by the dozens with various XBLA titles and full games such as Braid, BioShock, Lost Planet, etc. and Sony has been starting to secure console exclusivity for various PS4 titles as well.

1. Well, yes.

2. For Apple it is. It says alot about how they think about games now. They completely ignored them before.

1. People downloading a free app by the millions, stop the presses! Until I see android users rioting in front of Apple headquarters, I don't think it's a big deal.

2. But Apple claims they didn't pay any money, i.e. that they don't think about games that much.

Posted by James_ex_machina

Consoles have exclusives, why can't smart phones?

Posted by Hippie_Genocide

So, how does this pencil financially for Apple? Do they assess a fee from publishers of F2P games for each download off the app store? They couldn't possibly think exclusivity on the iOS platform would drive hardware sales, could they?

Edited by afterland

@flippyandnod said:

No company should be allowed to do this. It's one thing to pay to develop a game that might not otherwise come to fruition. But to just pay (even with comarketing) to make your competitor's platform worse (even for a while) is anti-competitive.

It sucked with Rock Band 2. It sucks with this.

Competition is demonstrating your competitor is worse. If Android doesn't have access to this popular property, then they should work harder to fill the void or do better.

Edited by Tebbit

I'm not surprised Apple are doing this. Their App Store has the perception of being more curated, and of higher quality than the Play store, it makes sense that Apple would spend money on title exclusivity to keep that perception alive and well.

Posted by Pezen

Both PocketGamer and TouchArcade is reporting saying EA is claiming the quote is taken out of context, apologizing for any confusion and states that the reports of a paid relationship between Apple and EA is factually inaccurate.

Edited by Rhiley

Breaking news - Scumbag company acts like scumbag, details at 11.

Posted by SHAKIRALOVER

Does this explain why Android hasn't got Ifruit yet?

Posted by Budwyzer

@jaks said:

I'm not sure why this would surprise anyone. Like EA doesn't have the resources for a simultaneous launch?

Apple can keep this money whoring F2P shitfest anyway.

Agreed

Edited by sear

The game has been lauded for being a worthy sequel, albeit not without intense scrutiny for switching to a free-to-play model.

Yeah, I'm sure of those 25 million downloads, most people are really up in arms about their exploitative microtransaction scheme. Really.

Come on, we know it sucks, but it's not like this sort of thing is new anymore. Games are shit, free to play is going to ruin existing mechanics and systems by locking them behind paywalls and making "insert credit card" a mini-game in and of itself, news at eleven.

Posted by Vitor

@niamahai said:

Giantbomb.

The sneakiest of press sneak fucks.

HA. Actually spat out my green tea at my desk at work. Well done.

Edited by Tychoid

Uh oh, someone whose name rhymes with hat-trick pep-pick has a hate on for a certain fruit-themed company. C'mon Patrick duder. I love ya man, but research just a SMIDGEN bit more before you start one-sided smear campaigns. Or we're gonna have to start throwing out terms like "journalistic integrity."

Or did you intentionally leave out that Android app software vendors (i.e. Amazon) have been doing this for yeaaaaaaars in backroom deals: eg. Angry Birds, PvZ 1, Scribblenauts, etc etc etc.

Congrats on the huge number of hits pulled in to the site, though.

Edit: please please please don't turn Giant Bomb into another Kotaku. There's already a Kotaku for that.

Posted by StriderNo9

Does this mean Apple cares about games now?

Posted by Corvak

To most of the iOS users I know, games are simply a secondary use of their devices. They play them, but it's not something that drives their buying decisions.

Posted by vikingdeath1

@tychoid said:

Uh oh, someone whose name rhymes with hat-trick pep-pick has a hate on for a certain fruit-themed company. C'mon Patrick duder. I love ya man, but research just a SMIDGEN bit more before you start one-sided smear campaigns. Or we're gonna have to start throwing out terms like "journalistic integrity."

Or did you intentionally leave out that Android app software vendors (i.e. Amazon) have been doing this for yeaaaaaaars in backroom deals: eg. Angry Birds, PvZ 1, Scribblenauts, etc etc etc.

Congrats on the huge number of hits pulled in to the site, though.

Edit: please please please don't turn Giant Bomb into another Kotaku. There's already a Kotaku for that.

.... you honestly think Patrick ran this story because he hates Apple and wanted clickbait? please do a SMIDGEN bit more research on your journalists first.

Posted by michael_katarn

The delay to Android isn't bothering me at all. After watching the quick look the pricing in this game has sent me from huge PvZ1 fan to never gonna play PvZ. I'd rather buy horse armor.

Posted by heatDrive88
Posted by illegalnull

@tychoid said:

Uh oh, someone whose name rhymes with hat-trick pep-pick has a hate on for a certain fruit-themed company. C'mon Patrick duder. I love ya man, but research just a SMIDGEN bit more before you start one-sided smear campaigns. Or we're gonna have to start throwing out terms like "journalistic integrity."

Or did you intentionally leave out that Android app software vendors (i.e. Amazon) have been doing this for yeaaaaaaars in backroom deals: eg. Angry Birds, PvZ 1, Scribblenauts, etc etc etc.

Congrats on the huge number of hits pulled in to the site, though.

Edit: please please please don't turn Giant Bomb into another Kotaku. There's already a Kotaku for that.

.... you honestly think Patrick ran this story because he hates Apple and wanted clickbait? please do a SMIDGEN bit more research on your journalists first.

I don't think he hates apple, but it sure smells like clickbait!

Edited by Zevvion

@tychoid said:

Uh oh, someone whose name rhymes with hat-trick pep-pick has a hate on for a certain fruit-themed company. C'mon Patrick duder. I love ya man, but research just a SMIDGEN bit more before you start one-sided smear campaigns. Or we're gonna have to start throwing out terms like "journalistic integrity."

Or did you intentionally leave out that Android app software vendors (i.e. Amazon) have been doing this for yeaaaaaaars in backroom deals: eg. Angry Birds, PvZ 1, Scribblenauts, etc etc etc.

Congrats on the huge number of hits pulled in to the site, though.

Edit: please please please don't turn Giant Bomb into another Kotaku. There's already a Kotaku for that.

Oh man... the entire point of this news flew way over your head didn't it?

I'll explain it for you in perspectives of the different companies:

Amazon: 'we have games! Fast shipping, all games, exclusive content! Buy from us! Games!'

Android: 'We embrace our open platform for everyone to create games and put them up for sale or free. All games are welcome!'

Apple: 'Games? What are those? We don't believe in them. They are a waste of time and we will never go in a direction to actively try to promote videogames'.

Apple has come out time and time again and said that they will not create a console, they will not develop their own games, they will not make DEALS or anything because they do not believe in games, think they are a waste of time and it is not what the company's vision is.

So, suddenly a deal to get a game exclusive for their platform? This tells us two things.

1. They acknowledge Android more than they usually do. They normally pretend like they aren't even a competitor.

2. They do care about games, at least as a business, despite what they have said for the past 10 years or more about them.

So yes, this is news. I guess Patrick should've explained why this was news so people who aren't familiar with Apple's stance on videogames like you would also understand it.

Posted by justinhouserbaby

Ted Williams the VP of Sales is very well known in the gaming business and is also known to make up stories in order to get a sale. These guys make a huge chunk of change and it isn't surprising that he is rattling off BS in order to make himself look like a champion. The guy has ZERO morals and has no friends other than those he can grub money from.

Posted by jimmyfenix
Edited by ticklefist

I wonder what Frank Gibeau does that makes up for his mouth.