I remember vividly the first time I played Peggle. It was my junior year of college, I had moved into my first apartment, I was bored and there was a free demo. I played through the demo thinking, “This is OK, I guess.” Then I got to the final orange peg. Bjorn and I aimed true, directly at the peg, and then time slowed down… the screen zoomed in, I hit the peg with a ceremonious ping, and Ode to Joy rang through my apartment. Peggle was literally praising and congratulating me for beating a level. I defy anyone to experience this and not end with an enormous grin on your face.
**This makes me so Bjorn-y.**
Fast forward to now–Peggle 2 has been released. Now imagine my chagrin when I find that PopCap has released it as an Xbox One exclusive when I deemed the PS4 as my primary next-gen launch system. Peggle was a huge seller on every single platform it came to; from XBLA to iOS the game was beloved by everyone that put their dirty little paws to their preferred input device. According to Wikipedia (which we can all agree is an iron-clad source) Peggle has enjoyed over 50 million downloads across all platforms.
So why on Earth would PopCap decide to release this as an Xbox One exclusive?
Let me be more specific: Peggle 2 is, as I would imagine, a timed exclusive for the Xbox One. Meaning the game will likely release on anything and everything you could think of at some point, but EA, PopCap and Microsoft likely entered into some sort of agreement regarding a period of time where Microsoft would reign supreme in the Peggle 2 department.
Still though, why? PopCap knows the word “Peggle” makes every gamer’s happy bits tingle with anticipation. Why would they deny us the nirvana inducing joy of appreciating a new Peggle experience. It’s like giving away happiness, but only to people whose social security numbers end with a 6.
**One of the best announcements of all time.**
I have a theory.
Making a multi-platform game is hard. Making a multi-platform game that performs well across all the applicable platforms is even more difficult. PopCap wanted to release Peggle 2 for everything – yet the time it would take to do a simultaneous release would likely make development longer than they wanted it to be. So they bet on a horse, that horse being the Xbox One.
Peggle 2 is, as I would imagine, a timed exclusive for the Xbox One.
By looking at the past generation it would be fair to assume that the Xbox One would take off with more people at launch. They have the Achievement whores that want to get in on the new action, the bros that want to continue to “frag noobs” and do stuff to our moms in CoD, and they have the people who just prefer Microsoft to Sony. On top of that PopCap could have expected many people to pick up the Xbox One based on its new multimedia features and improved Kinect camera. On paper they made the right assumption.
What PopCap didn’t take into account was the fact that Sony put up more of a deal with the PS4 than anyone really expected them to. While the worldwide numbers for the two consoles aren’t in yet, data shows that the consoles are selling at a nearly identical rate in the U.S. – and both have done very well in other regions thus far as well.
I’ll call it now and say that Peggle 2 will be unavoidable before long, and releasing it on the Xbox One first was a combination of a sales gamble and a time concern. But when I cut away the fat from the situation it’s insane to think that any party involved would presume that Peggle 2 would sell consoles – making any sort of timed exclusivity seem as pointless as Congress (zing).
**Don’t act like you don’t want it, guys.**
Sound off in the comments down below and let me know what you think of the situation? Could it be a grab for more press, or something entirely different?