EA denies reports that Apple paid to delay Android version of Plants vs. Zombies 2

Plants vss Zombies 2 (teaser 001)

Electronic Arts-owned studio PopCap released the highly anticipated sequel to its popular Plants vs. Zombies game on the 16th of August, and it only took them two weeks to rack up a staggering 25 million downloads.

As you can imagine, this played out very well for Apple, as the game has been and still is an iOS-exclusive. And according to a report, the Cupertino company paid EA a ‘truckload’ of money to make that happen…

Giant Bomb has the story, which spawned from comments made by EA’s Frank Gibeu at a company town hall meeting.

Apple gave us a truckload of money to delay the Android version [of Plants vs Zombies 2],” said Frank Gibeau, head of EA Labels.

Giant Bomb confirmed the quote with several sources who watched the presentation today. 

It is unclear what a “truckload of money” means, and we have no further details on the apparent agreement between Apple and EA. Apple has not yet responded to my requests for comment.

Both Apple and EA have commented on the report, with an Apple spokesperson saying that ‘no money was exchanged,’ and Electronic Arts issuing a statement saying that Gibeu’s comments were taken out of context:

A comment from an internal meeting taken out of context has created an unfortunate misunderstanding. Reports of a paid relationship between Apple and EA are factually inaccurate, and we apologise for any confusion.”

Giant Bomb speculates that the deal between EA and Apple probably didn’t include a briefcase full of cash as Gibeu’s comments suggest. It was more likely a marketing deal, giving it prominent App Store placement.

Either way, this is the first time we’ve ever heard of Apple being involved in a deal like this, and it suggests the company is taking the gaming space more seriously. It also just added support for game controllers in iOS 7.

What do you make of all of this?