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With all the talk of free-to-play lately you’d think that paying for video game was a thing of the past.
EA made big news at the recent gamescon event by announcing their plans for the RTS series. Deciding to take what would’ve been Generals 2, EA has decided to roll it into a new format titled simply: Command and Conquer.
Generals 2, the game EA was planning in the traditional retail format, will be the first in a wave content for their new platform, with Red Alert and Tiberium Wars being other franchise materials they can tap. Command and Conquer will be a free-to-play mulitplayer RTS game akin to other entries in the longstanding series.
“We are thrilled about this opportunity to transform Command & Conquer into a premier online experience,” said Jon Van Caneghem, VP/GM at EA. “For nearly two decades, this franchise has existed as something you buy; now we are creating a destination where our fans will be able to access the entire Command & Conquer universe, starting with Generals and continuing with Red Alert, Tiberium and beyond. With Frostbite 2, we are able to keep an emphasis on the AAA quality our consumers expect while staying true to the RTS gameplay they know and love — all available online for free.”
The game will be client based, launching sometime in 2013. According to the FAQ there will be no single-player at launch. Another interesting thing to note, those that pre-ordered Generals 2 will be able to get a refund on the no longer existent game.
There was no mention of exactly how EA plans to monetize the game, so all we can do is speculate. Perhaps selling different unit load-outs and specializations. Allowing one player to focus on tanks while another focuses on infantry, all within the same faction, is one way they could go, although balancing all the potential variety would be a nightmare. Offering new skins for individual units or groups of units is another, simpler option. If they are able to grow the community into a competitive scene, selling advertising during the broadcasts of streamed matches is another possibility.
You can click here to get yourself signed up for the beta once that is released. Stay tuned for more news on exactly how they’ll be getting their monies worth on their new free-to-play investment!