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Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare is (temporarily) free on Origin

I was a big fan of Plants vs. Zombies (I literally own at least five distinct versions) but PvZ: Garden Warfare left me cold. As a $30 third-person online shooter, it had the stink of a cash-in, and so I paid it very little attention and ignored it completely at launch. But what I won't touch for 30 bucks, I'll jump all over when it's free.

And free it is, as the latest addition to EA's Game Time program on Origin. Just find it on Origin or hit the Game Time page, grab it and give it a rip. It's a time limited demo but the clock won't start ticking until the first time it's fired up, after which you've got 72 hours to play as much as you want. As with other Game Time releases, progress made in the demo will be saved so you can pick up where you left off if you opt to spring for the full version.

It's fun to watch EA take meaningful steps toward making Origin relevant in a field dominated by Steam. Steam managed to move to the top of the heap largely through the power of its famous sales; now Origin is doing it by giving stuff away. Not everyone is ready to embrace the platform just yet, but as strategies go, it seems to be a winner.