EA made a fairly big PR push, by EA Mobile standards, when their casual game studio 8 lb. Gorilla launched in July of 2009. The goal of the studio at that time was to produce a casual game every month. Unfortunately, in spite of the fairly good showing with their first game out of the gate, the simple, casual game Zombies and Me, 8 lb. Gorilla disappeared without a trace after just one game.
Over the following nearly 2 years I asked everyone I met from EA Mobile about 8 lb. Gorilla. No one knew what happened to the tiny ape. They seem to have just disappeared. That was until June 16th of this year, nearly 2 years later, when their second release came out.
EA has released Ghost Harvest, from the 8 lb. Gorilla studio. This is the first foray into the freemium space on iOS for EAand 8 lb. Gorilla are now the studio leading that push for EA. Speaking to others in the industry, everyone knew it freemium games were coming form EA, they just didn't know when or how it would appear.
Ghost Harvest is a fairly standard farming type game though told from a very different angle. In this one you harvest ghosts from graves (crops from fields) in your graveyard (farm) while building up XP and buying graves and dead bodies to fill them. It's an oddly morbid game for EA -- where you plant dead bodies and wait for their spirits to mature to the point that you can harvest them. Ghost Harvest is a free ad supported game, just like all the others in the style, with incentivized offerings from Tapjoy thrown in too. The one twist on the standard model is that there is a very simplified Plants vs. Zombies style defense game tacked on.
Overall the game seems rushed. Obviously 8 lb. Gorilla weren't spending two years on it. There's a frighteningly low animation cell count -- everything moves chunkily -- and non-retina level graphics are just below par these days. We know EA can do much better than this, perhaps this is just a feeler in the category. And is it just me or does the 8 lb. Gorilla logo look like a blue Donkey Kong?