The Command & Conquer franchise hasn’t exactly been getting lots of love in recent years, as after a lackluster fourth installment that tried to implement many changes to the core recipe, fans pretty much lost hope.
Fortunately, a brand new installment, Command & Conquer: Generals 2 was confirmed last year and it seemed that the new BioWare Victory studio was going back to the franchise’s roots.
Now, however, things have completely changed, as EA has confirmed that Generals 2 is being transformed into a free-to-play RTS experience called simply Command & Conquer.
“The previously announced Command & Conquer Generals 2 has been transformed to be a part of this new digital experience, giving gamers complete access to the cutting-edge visuals, sound and destruction of a full, AAA strategy game – for free. The new online platform and service will launch in 2013, with the Generals universe representing the first of many free offerings within the storied franchise EA is planning to launch with Command & Conquer,” the company said.
It seems that the whole Command & Conquer universe will be part of this free-to-play experience, as EA has plans to start with Generals and then continue with the Red Alert or Tiberium spinoffs.
“We are thrilled about this opportunity to transform Command and Conquer into a premier online experience,” said Jon Van Caneghem, VP/GM at EA. “For nearly two decades, this franchise has existed as something you buy; now we are creating a destination where our fans will be able to access the entire Command and Conquer universe, starting with Generals and continuing with Red Alert, Tiberium, and beyond. With Frostbite 2, we are able to keep an emphasis on the AAA quality our consumers expect while staying true to the RTS gameplay they know and love – all available online for free.”
EA even posted a little FAQ in order to make things as clear as possible, saying that a single-player campaign might be added after the actual release of the free-to-play Command & Conquer in 2013.
Why is this free? As we talked with more strategy fans, we found major interest in a free-to-play game, as long as it maintained authenticity to the franchise and exceeded expectations for a modern AAA RTS. So we decided to take Generals 2 in an exciting new direction as EA.s first HD, free online game . Command & Conquer. The Generals 2 universe is the first of many free offerings that we will deliver with Command & Conquer.
Will it still use Frostbite? Yes, Command & Conquer is powered by Frostbite 2 . the powerful engine you may know from Battlefield 3. You will be able to experience the cutting edge visuals, sound and destruction of a full AAA frontline franchise for free.
Is this a browser game? Is this a social or Facebook game? No, Command & Conquer is a full standalone client . a high quality game powered by Frostbite 2.
What happens to Generals 2? The Generals 2 universe will be the first of many free offerings that we will deliver with Command & Conquer. The content that we have already created will be part of this new free-to-play experience.
Will there be a traditional single player campaign? Not at launch. We are currently focused on building a fun, high quality RTS experience that we want to get in your hands on as soon as possible. From there, we will continuously evaluate additional content based on a variety of player feedback methods.
You can check out a new trailer of the free RTS below. You can also sign up to enter a beta stage for Command & Conquer at this link.