EA's free-to-play Command & Conquer successor has been canceled during its closed alpha phase. A post on developer Victory Games' site points to community feedback as the primary reason for this decision. Polygon reports, via sources inside the studio, that the dev team is also being laid off.
Once upon a time, a group of game developers sat down to create a real-time strategy. More importantly, they sat down to create an intro video for that real-time strategy. The game was Red Alert, and that intro featured Einstein building a time-machine to assassinate Hitler with a handshake. It's an important, nay, defining moment in the history of gaming, and one that shouldn't be forgotten. By the sounds of it, it's one that current C&C custodians EA haven't forgotten, because briefly buried in this official promo video for the upcoming free-to-play Command & Conquer, is the admission that both the Red Alert and Tiberium storylines will be revisited.
The free-to-play Command & Conquer will feature shorter matches than previous games in the series - though players will be able to expand them if they prefer the length of the older battles. Speaking to Polygon, Victory Games' Jon Caneghem said that "we've been noticing since the original Generals, the preferred play session has gone done from an hour plus to 30 to 45 minutes. So we've changed the pacing [of Command & Conquer] to deal with that". They're also considering introducing starter packs, which will give paying players something of a head-start in the game.
EA are conferencing the hell out of Gamescom right now, and - after a faintly embarrassing near-parody of e-sports - Victory Games announced that their upcoming free-to-play Command & Conquer will feature an episodic, story-driven campaign mode, with missions that are playable in both singleplayer and co-op. A brief sneak-peak trailer confirms that yes, the campaign will have tanks and stuff.
EA and Victory Games' Frostbite 2-powered free to play take on Command & Conquer has received a new trailer announcing that beta sign-ups are now live on the C&C site. Our Craig suggested that there's "more micromanagement than micropayments" in our C&C hands-on, and it is looking quite pretty. Even without a grand factional metagame, it should give the suddenly-quiet End of Nations a run for its money. Of course, much will need to be done to shift the cynicism attached to the free-to-play label, but footage of some plump explosions and bolshy tank columns isn't a bad place to begin.
The upcoming, free-to-play Command & Conquer is based on C&C: Generals—it was originally being developed as a sequel—but Victory Games says it plans to add the Red Alert and Tiberium universes sometime after launch. Speaking at a preview event last month (read our hands-on impressions), Victory Games GM Jon Van Caneghem laid out those plans and more as he looked ahead to the next 10 years.
The Command and Conquer site was recently updated with news that a sequel is currently in production at EA's new strategy game studio, Victory Games. It was also announced that creator of Might and Magic, Jon Van Caneghem is heading up the project.