PopCap revamps Bejeweled on iOS, sends Bejeweled Blitz freemium
Very similar to the way EA has revamped its Tetris app recently, PopCap Games (now owned by EA) has decided to revamp its Bejeweled offerings on the iPhone, taking the various versions of the world's brightest match-3 game gem and concentrating them down into a few offerings.
There will be two Bejeweled games on the App Store after all is said and done. Bejeweled Blitz is going to go to a freemium model where players can earn coins to unlock content (or just buy it outright via in-app purchase); the app will also take advantage of full Facebook integration. Bejeweled 2 is being reinvented as Bejeweled for iPhone and iPod touch, featuring three gameplay modes, full Retina Display graphics, and a host of various social and profile features. Bejeweled for iPhone will be 99 cents on the App Store.
I've been waiting for PopCap to release Bejeweled 3 on the iPhone, but it looks like this is the best we're getting -- the new app has a Zen mode in it, plus all the achievements and ranking the latest PC game comes with. Odds are that if PopCap is bringing other updates to the iOS version, it'll be through this app, not through an official Bejeweled 3 port. Interesting that there's no iPad coverage yet, either -- I for one wouldn't mind playing Bejeweled on my iPad, too.
But it certainly seems like PopCap and EA are getting their ducks in a row before the holidays, laying out out their biggest properties so they can be found (and purchased) by players with shiny new iPhones and iPads.