By Nathan Grayson on August 21st, 2012 at 9:00 am.
Is this bold enough for you, Craig? Well, IS IT? This cup of coffee, I mean. I find it to have a very insistent flavor. Oh, and also, Command & Conquer: Generals 2 is doing a pretty crazy thing. Now that the near-future sequel has lined up its troops behind F2P’s mighty monetary banner, it’s casting single-player to the wayside. The focus, for the time being, is squarely on co-op, competitive matches, and e-sports.
Bioware Victory general manager John Van Caneghem explained the sudden gear shift to PCG, noting that his team “really wants to get back to the roots of what made Command & Conquer great.” He added, however, that fan feedback will ultimately shape the game after it goes live, and – provided that demand is there – a single-player mode could creep out from the fog of war (and game development!) at a later date. He explained:
“As a live service I think the exciting part is you can try things. You can see what the community wants, you can give it a shot, you can put it up for a weekend and see how it goes, develop towards what the fans like.”
Also of note: Van Caneghem briefly outlined EA’s plan to give other areas of the C&C universe a similar F2P makeover. “We decided to choose Generals as the first set of games we build under the universe,” he explained, “but we’ll be expanding after that, like Tiberium and Red Alert as well as some others.”
Still, it’s a bit of an odd turn after EA rolled the franchise under the BioWare umbrella and Ray Muzyka very publicly voiced excitement about “finding a way to incorporate BioWare’s vision of genuine emotional engagement and quality, including the attention to story and narrative” into Generals 2.
Even so, this isn’t the end of the world or anything. The original Generals tended to steer clear of C&C’s trademark FMV-fueled brand of camp, so we’re not even missing out on that particular series staple. It would’ve been pretty interesting to see how BioWare’s yarn-spinning prowess would’ve made the leap into RTS land, but that probably never would’ve been the focus. BioWare Victory is just a rebranding of EA’s old Command & Conquer dev studio, so it’s not like a bunch of Mass Effect vets suddenly decided, “Hey, you know what I think I can make? A semi-modern military strategy game. Those have moral choices and calibrations and Urdnot Wrex, right?”
Are you hoping to command and conquer EA’s forums and inboxes until this one gets a story mode, though? Moreover, if that were to happen, I wonder if – in this day and age – EA would allow people to play offline? Perhaps it’d resort to some kind of SimCity-style “online on start up” solution? Aww, now I’ve gone and made myself sad about the state of the industry and stuff.