EA's new Command & Conquer - and BioWare Victory's first - will shift into a beta gear in the first half of next year, according to a blog post on the official website. Not only that, but it will be the "longest running beta phase in franchise history", presumably because it's so different from the other games. Originally billed as a sequel to Generals, the now subtitle-less Command & Conquer will be a free-to-play entity, first without, and then with, a single-player mode.
When Command & Conquer: Generals 2 mutated into a service - a free-to-play reboot simply called Command & Conquer - BioWare Victory GM John Van Caneghem told us it would launch without a single-player mode. Now President of EA Labels Frank Gibeau tells The Verge: "Our intention with Command & Conquer is to create a triple-A experience...Does that mean it's not going to have single-player? No, that's something we've obviously heard loud and clear that is important to people."
EA recently announced that Command & Conquer: Generals 2 is going to be free to play under the umbrella of an online series known simply as "Command & Conquer." Bioware Victory general manager John Van Caneghem told me last week that Generals 2 will ship without a single player mode. Instead, "co-operative and competitive" skirmishes will serve as the core, with more modes to be added later based on community feedback. A story mode could be added later, but "it is something we haven’t announced yet how we’re going to do it."
Van Caneghem said that the studio "really want to get back to the roots of what made Command & Conquer great." Generals 2 will let us harvest and throw up bases in order to "build a zillion units" and "go out and kill all the bad guys." Despite the familiar RTS trappings, Generals 2 will be a dedicated online experience at launch.
Bioware confirmed that rumours of a new Command & Conquer game were true this weekend when they revealed C&C: Generals 2. It's in development at new Bioware Victory studio, and will be using Battlefield 3's Frostbite 2 engine. We sent over a few questions to executive producer Jon Van Caneghem and Bioware co-founder Dr. Ray Muzyka to find out more. Van Canegham says that Frostbite 2 is "going to put Generals 2 on the cutting edge of the industry," and "will set a new bar for fidelity in the strategy genre."
Referencing Battlefield 3, Van Canegham says that "there are certainly going to be a number of differences between a shooter and a strategy game, but the possibilities are certainly opened up more when you have a great new engine to build upon."
We'll have to wait and see if Battlefield 3's destructible terrain tech will make it into the new C&C, but we had a more pressing question. Of all the C&C franchises to bring back, why did Bioware choose Generals?