A week ago, many gamers (including myself) were holding thumbs for some new information on Command & Conquer: Generals 2. Electronic Arts had a massive presence at last week’s gamescom, where they showed off many of their upcoming games. I’ll admit that warning bells should have sounded in my head when EA’s press event began and ended without a whiff of the anticipated RTS.
Then the awful revelation happened: Command & Conquer: Generals 2 was announced to be a free-to-play downloadable game. If that wasn’t bad enough, BioWare Victory’s GM (John Van Caneghem) has revealed to website PC Gamer that there will be no single-player campaign. Instead, the developer is choosing to focus on “the roots of what made Command & Conquer great” – which was apparently “co-operative and competitive” matches.
This is the beginning of the future of the Command & Conquer franchise. BioWare Victory will be pulling the Red Alert and Tiberium series into the free-to-play online model as well. Hit the jump for the latest trailer; it looks great, but I can’t escape the feeling that this could have made an excellent full retail RTS product.
It seems odd that Electronic Arts would be willing to turn one of the better selling versions of the Command & Conquer series into something like this. Even Caneghem admits that fans of the series have been clamouring for a new Generals, so why they’re dropping the full retail version is beyond me. Incidentally, there are already numerous online petition to change Generals 2 back to a full retail product – not that that will help but it’s indicative that Generals fans aren’t exactly excited.