This happened all of sudden, and quietly. EA stealth-rebooted its Command & Conquer website, announcing in quick sucession a new community manager, a whole new studio and a brand new, mystery C&C game.
We thought it was all over. (C’mon, we didn’t think it was all over for even a second). It isn’t now. Sounds like they’re really going for it this time. Commandingly, they sound like they want to conquer strategy again.
Edit – Voodoo Extreme report the site has reverted to its pre-OMG NEW GAME status, which suggests a cat was let out of the bag by mistake.
Very, very few details to go on as yet, but the new studio is based in three locations (LA, Texas, Shanghai), is called Victory Games and will head up EA’s entire strategy portfolio (somewhat hobbled by the closure of EA LA last year). Was there really not a Victory Games before? It is a fine name. They should be proud of it.
The telltale line, so far, comes from the aforementioned new studio’s boss Jon Van Caneghem, who says in an interview with his own site that “Our current focus is making a AAA Command & Conquer game, which I am very excited to be working on…”
Thankfully, AAA for once doesn’t mean ‘console.’ He continues, “I can tell you it’s a Command & Conquer game for the PC, but we’re not yet at a stage where I can go into any details— we’ll be prepared to make a more formal announcement later in the year. We’re not just working on a game, though. Our general focus is on the future of Command & Conquer. That means updating a lot of the core technology to create a stable base for future development, and leveraging that work on this first game.”
I’m guessing that’s going to mean something more persistently online, to be the CoD of RTS, or perhaps even the WoW of RTS. That is a complete guess, but as it’s an avenue more people are exploring and that StarCraft II perhaps didn’t go quite as far with as it could have done (preferring instead to stick to very swish ultra-competitive play) there remains a gap for it..
There’s also this line, hidden in the About page:
“With over 30 million sold, Command & Conquer now looks to the future, with plans to combine classic RTS gameplay with bold new technology, innovative new concepts and, as always, tanks by the dozen.”
I’m quite excited, to be honest. C&C4, despite trying very hard to be different and a bold break with the past, also seemed to me to hint that EA as a business had lost no small amount of interest in PC strategy. All this rather sounds like they’ve changed their mind. I’m going to wildly guess they’ll call the new game simply “Command & Conquer”. COLONS AND SUBTITLES ARE THE PAST.