Our GDC meeting with PopCap was full of words like “probably”, “most likely”, and “chances are”. There was practically nothing definitive on PopCap’s iOS plans, but at least the overriding theme wasn’t “probably not”. One thing we know for sure is that PopCap has increased the size of their iOS development team greatly from just a one-man team a couple of years ago.
If you’re unaware about who PopCap is, they’re the developers behind some of the greatest casual games of all time. They make Bejeweled, Peggle, Zuma, Plants vs Zombies, Chuzzle, and Bookworm to name a few. Most of these games have made it to iOS, and there are potential expansion plans in the future.
They’re definitely supporting iOS more because of the high sales volume they’ve experienced, and have just passed the 10 million iOS downloads mark. The first thing we can expect to see is an update to Plants vs Zombies, which will include retina quality graphics as well as more modes from the PC version. Beyond that, nothing else was guaranteed. However, they did indicate that the games below are still likely. The one thing PopCap admitted was that it takes a long time to make their games work very well with touch based controls since all their games are made for the mouse.
In the first half of 2011, Peggle HD is likely to be released, and it will have Peggle Nights included, as well as Game Center support. The iPhone version will also get retina graphics and Game Center support. Peggle on the iPad sounds great, and we will definitely keep you updated if there is more confirmation from PopCap.
Looking further out to longer term plans, Bejeweled 3 should make it to iOS before the end of the year. It may not be the complete computer version, and it’s unknown how many of the modes and features from the PC version will make the port to iOS. One potential caveat is that it may have to be redone and given a whole new interface similar to how Plants vs Zombies was changed for the iPhone.
Another of PopCaps casual hits that may come to iOS in some form or another is Zuma. PopCap indicated that Zuma is likely to be on iOS, but the details are still unclear. There is also a chance for a Zuma Blitz mode just like Bejeweled Blitz.
If any of these games actually do come to iOS, it will be great news, but it’s unclear what exactly PopCap will do in 2011. We do have reason to believe, however, that everything above is likely to come to fruition.