General Admission: Command & Conquer Beta Early 2013

Blue draws my attention to a blogpost over at the Command & Conquer website. The game, which is free to play and seemingly distanced from the Generals 2 subtitle, is set to have “the longest running beta phase in franchise history”, beginning in the first half of 2013. I don’t think that “longest running” C&C beta means a great deal, it’d be surprising if the first free to play release didn’t have a lengthy beta. The post doesn’t contain much information about how the free to play model will be implemented, but it does come right out and admit the problems of previous games and then says it’ll all be ‘different’ this time


[The C&C franchise has been] more about fun to play, engaging, and high quality RTS experiences. And that’s what we’re aiming to deliver, just in a different way.

The full text is worth a read, but there’s no real suggestion of what the ‘different way’ might be. Unless…

Yes, the direction is new and many probably would say that this is not a “true” C&C, just as many did when the original Generals came out. For me, Command & Conquer isn’t just about Tiberium, Kane and the crazy Yuri.

All that really does is suggest that the most excessively pulpy aspects of the series will be absent and that the game, tonally, will be a sequel to Generals rather than a part of Command & Conquer’s wider, weirder world. We sort of already knew that though, when the announcement mentioned an “intense, gritty, modern war experience”. I don’t think cyborgs, weaponised dolphins, mad cabals and alien invasions are very ‘gritty’, although I could be wrong. I’m quite happy to admit I don’t know where the lines of grit are drawn.

Maybe all RTS games should be called Command & Conquer: Subtitle, just to make things easier. This could be the start of that. Similarly, perhaps all new EA studios should be called Bioware: Subtitle.

I wonder how closely this new C&C will resemble End of Nations, particularly in terms of the meta-game and persistent player-general. The team at Petroglyph actually contains some of the Westwood veterans who worked on the original Command & Conquer and what I’ve played of End of Nations was very solid.

You can apply to join the C&C beta right now.


  1. lordcooper says:

    Any news on Command & Conquer: Empires 4?

    • three60mafia says:

      If I learned anything from being in a bunch of EA beta’s… namely BF3 Alpha/Beta, Bad Company 2 Beta (360), Red Alert 3… is that their games never change from beta into final.

      They are more like glorified multiplayer demos.

  2. MeestaNob says:


    • SaVi says:

      Whenever I barely see a connection of EA and F2P, it makes my blood boil. Even if they are going to say it will be all fair and stuff, they already told that lie with Battle Field Heroes at the beginning! I won’t even give them Beta data from my plays. I’ll just keep playing Team Fortress 2 which I already put in about twice the amount of money needed for a AAA game since it went F2P. And Planet Side 2 is next if they can keep their “No Pay2Win” policy.
      tldr: Going F2P ruined this game for me.

  3. Groove says:

    “and then says it’ll all be ‘different’ this time”

    Come on baby, I can change, it’ll all be different this time.

    Sometimes you just have to say no, not this time Chris Brown, not this time.

    • f1x says:

      The problem is this time it will be different, awfully different :P

  4. Scroll says:

    Different like C&C 4 I bet. If you have to unlock units in any way that isn’t a regular tech tree during a match then it’s going to be a horribly unbalanced mess.

  5. John Connor says:

    It will be shit.

    • El_Emmental says:

      But how do you know this ? Are you from the future ?

      You seem so determinated to judge it so early, did someone stole your boots today ? Geez, people were nicer in the 80s, I wonder how it’s gonna end in 17 years…

      • subedii says:

        Don’t be daft. It’s his dad who was from the future.

        Which I’m guessing means that F2P C&C is actually a prototype program for Skynet.

  6. Hurracane says:

    I was legitimately excited when I heard about the Generals 2 Announcement. I used to play Generals years ago at a lan centre, it was so much fun, but F2P has dampened that excitement a shitload…

    • Scroll says:

      It’s almost as if they have pissed all over expectations. Changing business model due to a lack of faith in the genre was quite a disappointing turn of events.

  7. Bullitt says:

    All the things that make C&C a good game, like base building just don’t work with an MMO. I played the beta for End of Nations, and it was terrible. Thankfully we have Planetary Annihilation and CoH (*Company of Heroes*) 2 to look forward to.

    • lordcooper says:

      Is CoH particularly known for it’s base building these days?

      • El_Emmental says:

        I think Bullit was mentionning RTS games who don’t try to be something they can’t. Like a base building RTS turned into a MMO.

        Now imagine CoH micro-management in a FPS: can’t give accurate orders in out-of-sight places, you need to move around all the time. Why not a TPS then ? => can’t coordinate several units to get a pincer movement, you keep running back and forth between your units positions.

        MMO-RTS sounds like a terrible idea, unless you break it down in much smaller standard maps, then it’s just a meta-campaign.

      • Groove says:

        Dammit, CoH means City of Heroes (RIP). And CoH DID have base building in it, so clearly it’s the game more deserving of the acronym.

        Also I don’t think that much about an RTS meshes with an MMO. Covering massive, global-scale war sounds cool, but most of the time spent in huge conflicts is rubbish! If you controlled a batallion then you’d probably spend ages manouvering, then guarding a flank/camp/supply line against attacks that don’t come because they’re guarded. To make an MMO of an RTS any fun you have to make it dumb, with no sense of actual tactics and everyone just having a military gangbang where everyone fights all the time for ill-defined reasons. I realise that’s how regular RTS work, but they aren’t trying to give your actions meaning beyond the actual battles you fight.

        • El_Emmental says:

          Aw, sorry for twisting the knife in the wound, RIP indeed :'(

          But isn’t the base building mentionned here is about putting buildings after buildings in a plain (like in End of Nations, or the C&C series), rather than making a neat super-hero control room ?

          ps: I prefet to call if “City of Heroes”, I think it deserves to be fully spelled, acronyms rarely do justice to a game with a distinct trait. And it’s really fitting: City (= exactly what the main environment is), of, Heroes (= exactly the main characters are), and the whole comics “everyone is a hero” thing. One day, the phoenix will rise again, one day…

          • Groove says:

            Heh, I know. It’s just that CoH has more base-building than CoH and I wanted to make a pedantic joke.

  8. Moraven says:

    New Theme Park game from EA…F2P mobile game. Pay to finish the game faster!

    Which is odd…I pay to make my entertainment come quicker and be over with. Probably because the F2P system is so gated or requires me to pass out 100 friend codes to get to the end. Socialface!

  9. Hardmood says:

    “the longest running beta phase in franchise history”

    if its in the game it…stays there :-D

  10. FalseMyrmidon says:

    The real question is whether or not I can build suicide bombers as Al-Qaeda the GLA or not. If they keep it so horribly politically incorrect I’ll be happy.

  11. MajorManiac says:

    I love it when there is a post about Generals 2. It means I get to post a comment along the lines of – “oh dear, they’ve only gone a broken my toys”