There’s a beggar on your lawn.

The chances of me finishing Plants vs Zombies 2 are non-existent. This is not a Plants vs Zombies game — it is a hand in your wallet.

In-app purchases put developers in a toxic state of mind. They no longer create games for fun. They create games to drain you of money.

plants vs zombies 2 2I’m told that you can make it through Plants vs Zombies without paying a dime. That’s fine, but it’s not the point: I play games for an escape from my day-to-day life.

Plants vs Zombies 2 makes constant requests for cash, constantly reminding me of life outside the game.

plants vs zombies 2 3If I spent twenty dollars, I know the reminders for in-app purchases would not stop. Because Plants vs Zombies (and most “freemium” games) are not designed to stop collecting money.

If that is your goal, what happens to solid gameplay and fun? When there’s a conflict between a seamless player experience and another excuse for a cash grab, guess which one wins.

plants vs zombies 2 1In-app purchasing doesn’t need to be ugly. I purchased ten dollars worth of content in Jetpack Joyride. Not because it kept reminding me that I could, but because it didn’t. They made a solid game, and I wanted to support them for that.

Plants vs Zombies 2 could be a solid game. But its repeated requests for money have made it something I no longer wish to play — or support. That is sad, because I spent over fifty dollars across several platforms on the original Plants vs Zombies. Oh well, it’s their game to ruin. I am sorry that I don’t want to continue playing it. Really, I am truly sad.

plants vs zombies 2 4In app-purchase games are the new coin-op arcades, trying to hook the player and squeeze out a few more cents. They should look at that model closely, because that’s the end they’re heading towards.

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About Donald Conrad

Donald Conrad is an avid father and a dedicated gamer -- or maybe that's the other way around. He loves his games, and he loves his family, and he's pretty sure he loves sleep, even if he doesn't remember what it was like. Follow his life confusion on Twitter @ConManEd