Peggle 2 Drops onto Xbox One on Monday, PopCap Chats Today

Earlier this week, I got ahold of the final version of Peggle 2, which will be available for download this Monday, only on Xbox One. Peggle 2 incorporates a next-gen visual and auditory facelift with the Peggle’s trademark skill-meets-luck, just-one-more-level brand of fun. After an evening of playing through the first few stages of single player, and a number of rounds of the insanely fun multiplayer Peg Party mode, I fired a few questions across Western Washington to PopCap HQ. Here’s Jared from PopCap:

Hey, folks! I’m Jared Neuss, the Producer for Peggle 2 here at PopCap Games. We’re incredibly excited to announce that Peggle 2 will be coming to Xbox One next Monday, December 9th! The team and I can’t wait for you to meet the brand new Peggle Masters, learn their magical powers and, well, just have a great time. We’ve got tons of new levels, hundreds of objectives to complete and a whole bunch of ridiculous surprises lined up for you. We think you’ll love it.

Unless you hate joy and happiness. In that case, you’re on your own.

Recently, our friends across Lake Washington sent us a few questions to answer. Behold! Our answers!

Jeff Rubenstein, Xbox: How do you go about improving on what many considered a perfect game (not unlike the Plants vs Zombies team did earlier this year)?

Jared Neuss, PopCap Games:It’s all about taking everything that was great about the previous Peggle games and making it even more awesome. The visuals are richer, the audio is more sublime and the gameplay is more challenging and varied. The core of what makes Peggle so great is still intact, but we’ve managed to build an experience on it that feels completely new and unique.

Xbox: What do you think is the secret sauce that makes such a simple game so addictive. In my mind, Peggle is the rare videogame to evoke the feel of something mechanical like slots, Skee ball, pachinko, Plinko

PopCap: This is actually something that we talk about a lot at PopCap. The trick is to create an experience that’s easy to pick up and play but very difficult to master. If someone plays the game for a few minutes, they should be able to have an absolute blast. If they spend a bit more time digging in, though, we want them to have that “a-ha!” moment where they uncover layers of strategy that they weren’t aware of before.

Xbox: Talk about the importance of music in Peggle – the rising notes in a long string of hits, Ode to Joy. (Great re-make of that in the multiplayer lobby, btw.)

PopCap: Music is an integral part of the Peggle experience. When people talk about Peggle, Ode to Joy is always part of the conversation. With Peggle 2, we want to create even more iconic moments that perfectly blend gameplay and audio to draw people deeper into the game.  The soundtrack has something for everyone, from classical music to dub remixes. I’m constantly amazed by the things that our audio team can do. They’re not of this world.

Xbox: What is your favorite new Peggle Master power?

PopCap: Berg’s Deep Freeze power is my current favorite. When Deep Freeze is activated, the entire board becomes encased in ice, causing hit pegs to slip and slide around as they crash into each other. Setting off huge chain reactions of pegs is incredibly satisfying.

Elisa (via Twitter): How does it feel to know you’re simultaneously giving people so much joy while shutting down all productivity?

PopCap: I’ve gotta be honest: It feels pretty awesome.

Scratch (via Twitter): Tell them thanks for Peggle 2.

PopCap: My job requires me to talk about robo-gnomes, unicorns and yetis all day. So, no, thank you.