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Ironclad: RTS genre is "a dying market"

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Sins of a Solar Empire

Ironclad brought us Sins of a Solar Empire in 2008, and we enjoyed its space-based mixture of RTS and 4X. Its next project, Sins of a Dark Age , pivots the developer's focus to the expanding MOBA genre, and it seems part of the reason for the change comes from Ironclad's belief that RTS games are "very niche," as Director Blair Fraser describes it in an interview with RPS .

"RTS games, to my mind, are very niche now," he says. "And that's unfortunate, because that's what I love, and that's what I grew up playing, and that's what I make. Or made, anyway. I just think the demographics have changed. Company of Heroes may be profitable, and StarCraft II is an anomaly, but most of them aren't gonna get big numbers. It's a dying market.”

Fraser thinks Sins of a Solar Empire avoids this problem because it "diverged" from the classic RTS structure. "It still has a very specific community that wants more," he adds. "There are games like Total War as well, but they broke away from classic base-building, because that's done. It's sad for me to say, but that's done.”

Is it done? Though RTS games, like pretty much every other genre, continue evolving and innovating over the years, classic-style entries still shine—Total Annihilation, Supreme Commander, and StarCraft II spring to mind.

Head over to RPS for the rest of the interview.

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?