Plants vs. Zombies 2 (PvZ 2) recently made a splash in China’s gaming industry, receiving much criticism regarding the aggressive monetization mode found inside the game. The Chinese version developed by PopCap, the Chinese arm of EA, is more demanding in terms of difficulty level, gaming time and item prices as compared with the English version.

Reviews by local media like this one, however, find the English version is too easy for smart and self-challenging Chinese gamers. The difficulty levels were elevated to increase player stickiness, and thus, PVZ2 becomes a more effective time killer. In addition to purchasing in-app items, PVZ2 offers gamers the alternative to gain free access to target plants through collecting fragments by defeating Yeti Zombies. It is up to the player to make the decision.

They don’t think the Chinese version of PVZ2 is too difficult that players can’t make through without purchasing or too easy that a game of four years’ hard work fails to make profit. The core design mindset here is that gamers either spend more time or spend money to save time.

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Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.