You hear that ladies and gentlemen? That is the sound of silence. If you keenly listen out even more you’ll hear a slight ringing, almost like a broken, intermittent echo.
Do you know what that sound is? Its the sound of anticipated potential being mercilessly destroyed by profound disappointment as EA today have confirmed that Command & Conquer Generals 2 will not only be going free-to-play, but that the single-player campaign will also be given the boot as well.
I don’t know where to begin with this story in all honesty.
When the Bioware Victory developed entry in the popular RTS series was announced late last year, there was a palpable sense of excitement tinged with giddy anticipation as EA finally gave a lot of folks the sequel that they wanted.
And best of all, I thought it looked really good; carrying over the same modern contemporary look that the original Generals strived for but with obvious lashings of new graphical effects and other stuff on top. Most excitingly of all, it laid out the promise of a brand new single-player campaign; something that Bioware and EA went at great lengths to stress about upon the original game’s announcement.
To be honest, looking at how EA’s current free-to-play selection of games cribs liberally from their portfolio of popular IP’s, we should have seen this eventuality coming.
EA Vice President and General Manager Jon Van Caneghem, feels that this is the right direction for the game considering its place within the franchise:
“We’ve seen what online has been able to do for RPGs, for FPS games, for puzzle games, and the like—what I’ve been interested in is what can online do for strategy games? To that end, we’ve been developing a platform for Command and Conquer games with Generals 2 as the lead product on that platform, focusing on having a single identity across the franchise to bolster social ties and also providing us a way to add and update the games constantly over time.”
“The platform itself also offers several other advantages to players and developers. With a lower barrier to entry, more people can experience our game and gain access to the cutting-edge visuals, sound and destruction of a full, AAA strategy game – for free. This live service approach also makes developing games more exciting as we are constantly responding and reacting to community feedback to deliver content that they care about.”
And here was me Jon, thinking that the community cared for a single-player campaign in their Command & Conquer titles too. Silly, silly me.
Command & Conquer Generals 2 will also lose the ‘Generals 2′ component of its moniker and will simply be known as ‘Command & Conquer‘.
No details regarding how the game will be monetized or release schedules have been shared as of yet, though I imagine those details will come in due course now that they’re development time has effectively been cut to a fraction of what it once was.
C’est la vie then.
For those still interested in the game, they can sign up for the beta here and EA have also released a trailer for it; announcing its newly confirmed free-to-play status: