Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

While the titular plants and zombies of PopCap's Plants vs Zombies may get the most attention, Crazy Dave holds a dear place in our hearts. No longer content with selling over-priced seeds and fertilizer, Dave is pursuing a new career: rapper. (And given the economy, who can blame his moonlighting?)

PopCap has released his "first single" on iTunes today, and promises that all proceeds from the sale of the song will go to charity.

"Wabby Wabbo" is now available to download for 99 cents. It goes a little something like this:

All proceeds from the music purchase will go to Concern Worldwide, "an international humanitarian organization dedicated to tackling poverty and suffering in the world's poorest countries." The website lets you contribute directly--if Crazy Dave's tunes don't necessarily invoke your charitable ways.

Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

Of course Plants vs. Zombies was coming to the PS Vita. Considering PopCap's penchant to port their games to every platform imaginable, the addictive game developer needed to have a game ready for the Vita launch in February.

Plants vs Zombies will be distributed via PlayStation Network for Vita, and apparently it looks just like the SOE-ported version for PlayStation 3.

Of course, unlike the PS3 version, PvZ will feature touch screen controls in addition to the standard button controls. There's also Vita-specific online leaderboards. Otherwise, IGN reports that you're getting "more of the same," adding "not that there's anything wrong with that."

Given the straightforward nature of this port, it's unsurprising that other Vita features aren't being taken advantage of. It appears that there's no cross-compatibility between the PS3 and Vita versions: no transfarring, no cloud saves, and sadly, no single purchase for both versions. The Vita version may offer one bonus, however: a Platinum trophy, which the original PS3 version lacked.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

It must be a sign of the times and the increasing popularity of mobile games: PopCap has decided to revise its development process to start considering mobile interface options like touch from the very beginning. In a Gamasutra interview with senior producer of core IP Matt Johnston, he revealed that the company has had to rethink its design stages to make workflow and ports easier on the team for the long-term.

"We have a lead platform [for our unannounced game], but we're actually going to do something pretty different," he said, "which is we're going to build our game to be as accepting of the main, dominant input mechanisms out there. So we're going to build our game for platform A as the lead platform, but we're also going to build our game so that it also considers platform B, and that adaptation process is a little bit more smooth, and it's not as work-intensive."

Unpleasant Horse, Plants vs Zombies

Johnston says this new method should help the company bring out different versions of a game much faster, citing the long wait times between ports of Plants vs Zombies. He also mentioned that touch screen games are so pervasive, "you'd have to have your head in the sand to at least not consider."

PopCap's test-bed for experimental iPhone games, 4th & Battery, has also started influencing other areas. The company's recent Facebook title Pig Up! was clearly influenced by Unpleasant Horse, and Johnston isn't opposed to bringing that experimental sub-culture to other platforms.

Asked if they would consider 4th & Battery publishing non-iPhone games, he said, "We will eventually! It's actually our usual sort of platform philosophy, which is, we're going to make the game for the platform that makes the most sense." He says the games from 4th & Battery have just felt right on the iPhone, rather than a calculated marketing move. The label has been behind Unpleasant Horse and more recently the Make-a-Wish game Allied Star Police, both of which appeared free on the iPhone.

PopCap was recently acquired by Electronic Arts. Beyond touch games, it plans on bringing more games to Facebook, such as Plants vs. Zombies and Peggle..

Shacknews - Steve Watts

PopCap is planning on bringing two of its most popular casual games, Plants vs. Zombies and Peggle to Facebook "eventually." The ball got rolling when Games.com noticed a slide at an EA investor meeting that posed the two games under "Success on Facebook" next to planned EA games Risk: Factions and The Sims: Social.

The Escapist reports that PopCap's Garth Chouteau later confirmed the reports, but was hazy on the details. "Sure, they're coming to Facebook eventually," he said. "No timetable available yet, however." The word "eventually" doesn't sound like it will be terribly soon, so you might have to rely on old-fashioned methods of bragging to your friends about your zombie-killing abilities.

The slide calls the future outlook "strong" with these titles in tow, and it's hard to argue with the reasoning. Both PopCap titles have been hits on multiple platforms, and now that they've run their course offering free-to-play Facebook versions is a logical next step. EA is wasting no time putting their acquisition of PopCap to work, and hasn't broken anything yet. Fingers crossed.

Shacknews - Xav de Matos
PopCap's addictive reach has once again emerged on PS3 soil. Today, Sony Computer Entertainment announced it will bring a port of the PC fan-fave Plants vs. Zombies to the PlayStation Network in February.

If you're tired of hearing that cute song, SOE also revealed a slew of original PSN experiences: In March, Fire Hose Games will launch its build and brawl title Slam Bolt Scrappers. Sometime in the "Spring," Playbrains and Fuel Industries will release Sideway--a game set in the art culture of New York.

Also on the horizon is the robo beat 'em up Acceleration of Suguri X Edition from developer Rockin' Android; Akimi Village from NinjaBee, which has players gather resources to save a village from "lingering doom"; Recoil Games is prepping the side-scrolling, space puzzle game dubbed Rochard.

Now that Plants vs. Zombies is on pretty much every platform there is, maybe we can finally get a sequel. Unless the company is currently developing a version that can run on my toaster. In which case, I'll wait.

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Shacknews - Xav de Matos
The Xbox 360 version of PopCap's adorable tower defense title Plants vs. Zombies will finally see the light of day on September 8, according to IGN UK.

The confirmation comes from an event on August 2--a date many outlets presumed a sequel for the lawn-loving title would be announced.

The new Xbox Live Arcade version of the popular casual title adds a cooperative mode, where two players can fight off a horde of zombies on one lawn. Plants vs. Zombies on XBLA also features a competitive multiplayer mode, putting one player in control of the attacking zombies while the other attempts to hit a series of targets in order to claim victory as the strategic green-thumb.

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Shacknews - Xav de Matos
[Update: 5:50pm] In the comments, Shacknews reader aqtrans points us to the official PopCap Facebook page, where the company revealed all users who have already purchased Plants vs. Zombies on its official website will have their copy of the game upgraded to the GOTY edition for free.

[Original Story] Poised to make an announcement early next week, PopCap Games has quietly released a "Game of the Year" edition of its casual smash-hit Plants vs. Zombies.

On sale now on PopCap's official site, Plants vs. Zombies: Game of the Year edition is priced at $19.99 and includes the original 2009 hit along with 20 new achievements and the "Zombatar" character creator, which allows players to develop their own lawn-hating zombie aggressors.

Plants vs. Zombies and the new "Zombatar" Character Creator

Although we'd love to have our dream "crazy trucker" zombie don the infamous red leather from Thriller, we somehow doubt that will make it into the character editor.

An Xbox Live Arcade version of the popular tower-defense style game is expected to release in "early September."

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Shacknews - Xav de Matos
One of the most recognizable adversaries in PopCap's Plants vs. Zombies has been sent to the grave, permanently.

PopCap tells MTV Multiplayer the Michael Jackson lookalike in the popular casual title has been removed from the iPhone version due to objections from the late singer's estate.

The "Dancing Zombie" was originally modeled after the King of Pop's famous iconic look in the classic 1983 music video "Thriller." Following the update, the enemy unit now dons generic disco-themed garb. PopCap told MTV the character replacement will alter all previous and future versions of the title:
The Estate of Michael Jackson objected to our use of the 'dancing zombie' in Plants vs. Zombies based on

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Shacknews - Alice O'Connor
[Update: 9:42am] PopCap has now formally announced that it will release Plants vs. Zombies on Xbox Live Arcade this fall, with an "early September" launch "anticipated."

PvZ XBLA "will deliver more game content than any previous iteration of the franchise, boasting seven game modes, including two all-new multiplayer modes, 12 unique achievements and 21 mini-games," says PopCap, and cost 1,200 MS Points ($15).

[Original] The Xbox Live Arcade edition of Plants vs. Zombies will feature at least two forms of multiplayer, according to an achievement listing dug up by Xbox 360 Achievements.

The supposed listing mentions "VS. mode" and "Co-Op Wall-Nut Bowling,"

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