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Electronic Arts said today that Plants vs. Zombies 2: It’s About Time is its most successful mobile game launch in history, with more than 16 million downloads in just five days on Apple’s iTunes App Store.

This is a boost for Apple, which has focused on getting timed exclusives for its iOS devices. Plants vs. Zombies 2 came out Thursday, more than four years after the original game was released. It’s seen one of the biggest opening weekends on the App Store ever for a mobile title, and critics have rated it an average of 87 out of 100 on Metacritic, a review aggregation site. We rated it 90 ourselves and interviewed senior producer Bernard Yee about the decisions that developer PopCap Games made in designing the game.

The free-to-play game quickly shot to No. 1 on the App Store. Now the question is how long it will stay in the top position and if gamers will actually make purchases of virtual goods inside the game.

EA said that first day downloads nearly doubled EA’s previous mobile record, and in five days the zany tower-defense game has hit No. 1 on the App Store in 137 countries worldwide (on either the iPad or iPhone charts). On the App Store itself, the game has been rated 4.5 out of 5 stars.


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“We are grateful and delighted with the incredible reception Plants vs. Zombies 2 has received from consumers around the globe,” said Tony Leamer, Franchise Business Director for Plants vs. Zombies, in a statement. “We certainly had high hopes for the game, but to see fans playing the game so quickly and in such huge numbers is truly amazing.”

Those 16 million players are very engaged. In five days, the players have generated more than 11 billion suns, fought 2 billion zombie waves, planted 4 billion plants, and played for 25 million hours.

In other news, PopCap said that its upcoming first-person shooter game, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, will roll out exclusively on the Xbox One coming from Microsoft. It will debut in the spring of 2014, and the company is showing it off at the Gamescom event in Germany. New features include Kinect for Xbox One, Smartglass gameplay in boss mode, playable zombies classes, character customization and more.

PopCap is also showing its Peggle 2 puzzle game sequel in Cologne. The game will also launch as an exclusive later this year on the Xbox One. The whimsical title combines elements of pinball, pachinko, and billiards.

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