Monday this week we had a surprise. A new Command & Conquer game! This was surprising on two counts. Firstly, EA had rather publicly given up on the series last year. Secondly, there was no build up, no tiresome PR campaign. Just POW! News! So of course it was an accident. The site so keenly spotted by VE3D was hastily pulled, the story buried. But fortunately by the magic of caching Alec was able to fetch the important details. Our hearts were set to Believe*. And now EA, perhaps sooner than they'd hoped, have made the news official.
A brand new C&C site is up at the proper location, and it's emblazoned with the logos of the surprise new development studio, Victory Games. They describe themselves as:
"Victory Games is Electronic Arts' dedicated Strategy Gaming studio. Formed in 2010 under the leadership of Jon Van Caneghem, Victory Games has offices in Los Angeles, CA; Austin, TX; and Shanghai, China and is currently focused on the Command & Conquer franchise."
Jon Van Caneghem is an important name to have on your team. Founder of New World Computing, responsible for Might & Magic and the original King's Bounty, he's also been in charge of the C&C license for a couple of years. During which, of course, there's been C&C4. But at the time of his joining it was suggested that he'd be heading up the transition of C&C to the online age, seeming to be aiming for something more than just C&C4's peculiar multiplayer integration. An interview on Industry Gamers in 2009 seemed to imply heavily that there were hopes for what they were still calling "freemium" versions of the game back in those days.
The new site features a new interview with Caneghem, in which there's more ambiguity:
"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."
Beyond that it's mostly marketing puff, with the news at the end that the new game will be announced later this year.
Will this be a C&C5, a Red Alert 4, a Generals 2? A new spin-off? The inevitable free-to-play strategy online game that it obviously is? Speculate!
*Mine in the most empathic of ways, since I've never played a C&C game in my life.