Plants vs Zombies has been a huge hit for PopCap around the world on a variety of platforms. But the launch in China shows that the company is serious about making a big splash in one of the hottest markets in the world. If Plants vs Zombies succeeds on China’s Renren, then the company will have a more diversified revenue base.
That could prove critical to Seattle-based PopCap in the future, since the game developer and publisher is planning to go public in the second half of the year.
The game was developed by PopCap’s Shanghai studio, which was set up four years ago by James Gwertzman and now employs scores of Chinese game developers. The studio features new game modes, personalization, and social features.
The partnership is the first time a western game developer has been granted an exclusive game launch with the social networking giant in China. Players can invite friends to visit their own personal towns, which are custom built to the player’s own style and strategy. In Rampage mode, players can test their ability to stop a wave of zombies attacking in the course of two minutes.
Gwertzman said the passion for Plants vs Zombies in China is tremendous, with almost one million people already signed up to a Plants vs Zombies page on Renren, which has more than 117 million users.