EA Looking To Resume Command & Conquer At New Studio

By Nathan Grayson on November 19th, 2013 at 12:00 pm.

The plot, it thickens – like an ultra-syrupy plot milkshake or a rail-thin wisp of a plot that’s been secretly lifting plot weights for plot months. A few weeks ago, EA announced that it had canceled EA Victory’s free-to-play Command & Conquer pseudo-reboot and closed down the studio altogether. This left the series’ future very much in doubt, especially given that Victory had been established largely for the sole purpose of propelling the storied war machine ever onward. But now Blue’s News has dug up a rather interesting tidbit: an EA support statement on refunds (posted not long after the cancellation announcement) specifically mentions that previously activated early beta access “will be honored once production of this title resumes under a new studio.” Good news? Kinda! But it’s also rather sad, when you think about it.

First off, here are the two most sizzling soundbites:

“For those of you who bought The C&C Ultimate Collection, your early access to the beta will be honored once production of this title resumes under a new studio.”

“We would like to thank you for your time and interest in Command & Conquer, and we look forward to sharing the news with you when production resumes on this title in the future.”

Resumes. The repeated use of that particular word sure makes it sound like EA doesn’t intend to entirely scrap Victory’s hard-fought progress on the sorta-cancelled project. Then again, this could just be a case of left hand and right hand having not yet met, instead forever passing like two trains in the night or co-workers whose urinal schedules never sync up.

I’ve mailed EA for clarification about all of this – specifically, whether the support page’s info is accurate, how urgently the publisher is trying to jumpstart Command & Conquer again, and why it didn’t opt to simply saddle Victory with the responsibility of taking its game in a more fan-friendly direction (especially since it was already trying to do that, and it had promised a number of single-player campaigns in various branches of the C&C universe).

We shall see. In the meantime, though, it’s difficult not to feel bad for Victory – at least, given what we know of the situation so far. I imagine EA has full rights to whatever the studio created, so large portions of its vision of Command & Conquer could very well end up commandeered for some new studio’s effort. And perhaps, if Victory is very lucky, it might be able to look forward to that most paltry of participation ribbons: individually named mentions in the credits. Might.

But then, perhaps this move will ultimately result in a better game. I doubt we’ll know for quite some time, but that still might end up being sooner than we thought.

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45 Comments »

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  1. Premium User Badge

    Jackablade says:

    Wasn’t Bioware supposed to be involved with a C&C game? Did I dream that?

    • Premium User Badge

      Anthile says:

      That was just a rebranded studio. Standard procedure.

    • Bull0 says:

      EA went through a phase of rebranding studios as Bioware North, Bioware Outer Hebrides etc, but I think that’s as far as the connection went. There was no romance subplot planned for C&C.

      Which is a shame, because it would fit, although the handling of it would probably be less than progressive

      • LionsPhil says:

        Red Alert 4 will have Japanese-dating-sim choices during the mission briefings to decide if you get the Tanya ending or the Lieutenant Eva ending.

        (Soviet players get to choose between Lieutenant Zofia and Tim Curry.)

        • Premium User Badge

          Gap Gen says:

          Red Alert 4 will just be twelve-year-old girls and ninety-year-old men saying “GENERAL GENERAL GENERAL” from behind a desk.

          Wait sorry I meant Read Alert 3.

  2. BobbyDylan says:

    I don’t get EA. They remove the SP from C&C, which everyone wants, to make it F2P.
    But then they add SP to Battlefield 4, which no one wants.

    Can this company be further out of tune with it’s customers?

    • Premium User Badge

      melnificent says:

      Don’t forget microtransactions and a need to be online to play the singleplayer too.

    • Sharlie Shaplin says:

      Maybe that’s their new strategy, reverse psychology. Do the opposite of what everyone wants! Or maybe they are only concerned about their immediate profit margins, and have no regard for the longterm.

  3. CrazyPaladin says:

    Aww, you just can’t get over it don’t you EA? C&C is dead. It better stay that way as long as EA is still in charge.

  4. Ultra Superior says:

    For a decade I’ve been waiting for Generals 2.

    All I want is Generals Zero Hour with more graphics and the exact same game design with only minor improvements.

    I am not alone, WE ARE LEGION and we have money. Apparently, EA doesn’t want our money anymore. Strange.

    Anyone else?

    • FurryLippedSquid says:

      Yes, me!

      But do away with those fecking long range missile launchers.

    • CrazyPaladin says:

      That’s because your money probably won’t worth 1/100 of those guys who love to shoot each other in the face and C4 the sh*t out of each out, and the guys sitting on their couch all day playing “sports” games

      • Ultra Superior says:

        Kane’s fanboys hate to hear that, but Generals was by far the most commercially successful game of the entire C&C history.

        • CrazyPaladin says:

          Eh no? Even Tiberium Wars sold over 1 million, and Generals didn’t even made it to the best selling PC games of all time.

          • Ultra Superior says:

            Oh but yes. Only then the sales figures were kept secret.

            Ray Muzyka about generals: “It’s also the bestselling game in the entire franchise, which is quite impressive when you consider the other games that have come out under the C&C banner.”

            and

            Command and Conquer Generals was the best selling game in the C&C franchise, according to Jon Van Caneghem, the man now in charge of the franchise.

            Here you go, Kane’s fanboy.

          • CrazyPaladin says:

            Sigh, so they basically made the no 3 best selling game besides SC1 and SC2, and they don’t want to tell you how many are sold. Cool.

          • Ultra Superior says:

            They make no secret of the fact that CnC is the best selling RTS series ever, with 25 mil copies sold etc.

            However it’s understandably difficult for them to praise the odd one out. The one game that doesn’t really fit the entire rest of the franchise…

        • Neocray says:

          Are you aware it’s not about fanboy-ism but just about common sense?
          Generals has not at all the flavour of the C&C franchise. It’s about war in a near-today world with somewhat already-made technology.
          The other C&Cs bring an whole different story in a very different world.

      • rustybroomhandle says:

        While you are on the couch playing “sports” games, remember to cover up the Kinect – it’s always watching!

      • Skull says:

        I wonder if CoD or Battlefield make as much profit for Activision or EA than Starcraft does for Blizzard?

    • Premium User Badge

      Jonfon says:

      Yes, I’d love a Generals 2. Zero Hour is a fantastic game.

      But I’ve stopped hoping at this stage.

    • secuda says:

      I am sorry but Generalls was probably second worst game in C&C history.

      • Premium User Badge

        Jonfon says:

        Why are you sorry?

        World don’t move to the beat of just one drum. What might be right for you may not be right for some.

      • Premium User Badge

        FriendlyFire says:

        Ha, nice one!

        Generals was probably the best game in the series.

      • ShEsHy says:

        Wrong, it was one of the good ones. Besides, these are undoubtedly the worst CNC games ever made:
        1. CNC4 Tiberium Twilight
        2. RA3: Uprising
        3. RA3

  5. bstard says:

    Will it be free to skip again?

  6. Opiniomania says:

    These endless franchises are slowly getting on my nerves.

  7. Lemming says:

    The time is ripe for a C&C1 reboot/relaunch, but I don’t really trust that EA would pull it off.

    They should let Relic have a crack at it.

    • LionsPhil says:

      What? No! Why? Why would you do this? Stop redoing games that were already good.

      • Lemming says:

        And what are you playing it on at the moment exactly? If you’re playing it at all? C&C1 was good at the time, it’s not that good now. It’s unbalanced for a start. I want them to restart the story, because it has disappeared up its own arsehole into a post-apocalyptic war zone that doesn’t resemble the original concept. I want the near-future war with Tiberium fields and the ion cannon being the peak of human invention.

        • LionsPhil says:

          I’ve played it within the last couple of years. Have you? Try it. Most of the game is singleplayer, and that singleplayer has held up remarkably well. It’s not the “lol tank rush is only strategy” people seem to remember.

          (I totally agree about them losing the setting, though—and that rot set in while it was still in Westwood’s hands, with Tiberian Sun. :/ )

          • Lemming says:

            I loved the game the first time I played it, but after doing both campaigns I realised how unfairly stacked against you the AI is, like having Nod AI SAM sites having to be neutralised on the map in order to be allowed to do GDI bombing runs, yet that rule is absent when it’s the AI’s turn to be GDI. Or strange overlooked economy errors like building a guard tower for $150, and selling it to net 5 infantry when they’d cost $250 to build individually. Or making a line of sandbags into an enemy base so you can build on their territory..

            Yeah, it was great for its time as there was no yardstick and they practically invented the genre, but are you honestly telling me that a new version, rebalanced, with fancy graphics, a few new units and working natively on a modern computer wouldn’t be freaking awesome?

    • CrazyPaladin says:

      They rebooted Dungeon Keeper on smartphones and look where it went

      • Premium User Badge

        cpt_freakout says:

        Man I wish you hadn’t reminded me of that abomination. :P

  8. sejm says:

    I reckon they should try and pull in some of those people from the original Westwood Studios.

    I find it mind-boggling how long they have sat on this franchise, particularly when they are mucking around with the “MOBA” scene with a game that I can’t see it getting its own player-base.

    Really do hope they can pull out some new C&C games. Suspect they may well use Frostbite 3 now with all the delays.

  9. chris1479 says:

    Get ready to watch as EA violates the corpse of what was once a great game. Again. I won’t be following this game, I won’t be reading updates about it and I won’t be purchasing it (not that I could anyway because it’ll probably be “free to plaaaay”) so get stuffed.

  10. SillyWizard says:

    How about a sad, flaccid plot which takes performance plot-enhancers?

  11. TheTingler says:

    If true that would be not only unfair but utterly nuts. Victory started a straight C&C Generals 2 which everyone wanted, got forced to turn it into a F2P multiplayer which no one wanted, then got shut down and blamed when it finally got through to EA’s thick skulls that they’d made a mistake.

    Also, anyone willing to bet that a Kickstarter is coming from a bunch of ex-Westwood devs for a C&C style RTS called “Conquering Commander” or something? Or a new Dune game perhaps?

    • LionsPhil says:

      Sadly I think the various gibs of Westwood after EA chewed them up all flew off in different directions, and what teams re-formed around subsets of them (e.g. Petroglyph) honest just haven’t done all that well.

  12. Tei says:

    Theres only one cnc game, they never made a sequel.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      They most certainly did. They only ever make 1 or 1 and a sequel. Those they made with sequels:
      C&C, C&C Tiberium
      Red Alert, Red Alert 2
      Games they made with no sequels which need one:
      C&C Generals
      C&C Renegade
      With quite a few nice expansions. There are rumors a 3rd of a game in the series may exist, but that may only be an imagination in the minds of those hardcore fans. For everyone else, they only ever made the 2, and everything else must be a fake. ;)

      PS, this works for most games, films and books. As it’s not hard to repeat success, but it’s soon driven into the ground. :(

  13. Icarus239 says:

    You should check out the Rise of the Reds mod for Generals. You get new units for all factions, 2 completely new factions and it’s pretty professionally done. The AI has been tweaked too, making it trickier to play against, plus they added more blood, better sound effects and more character voice acting.

    Best of all – its free!!