The classic real time strategy series is set to be released as a digital download based on the free-to-play model while also making use of DICE’s impressive Frostbite 2 engine.
Some gamers may not remember the original Generals game when it was released on PCs and chances are that if you don’t, then you have missed out on a number of classics, not just Generals.
However, those gamers need not fear as EA has not forgotten its long running Command & Conquer franchise, as it plans to bring the series back to life albeit with a new structure and business model.
Jon Van Caneghem, the Vice President and General Manager at Electronic Arts, made the following announcement:
“We are thrilled about this opportunity to transform Command & Conquer into a premier online experience.”
The Command & Conquer franchise consists of a number of different series including the likes of the Red Alert, Tiberium and Generals series. All the real time strategy games are considered classics and although they may not be as popular as StarCraft, they still have a loyal fan base.
Van Caneghem continued, “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.”
One can gather from that announcement that all future games under the Command & Conquer umbrella will be based on the same model, however, that could change depending on how fans react to Generals 2.
The VP of EA went on to advertise the game and generate some interest by pointing out the title was a triple-A game as well as the fact that it was built on the same engine as Battlefield 3 was.
“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.”
It’s an interesting move by EA and it seems that they are planning for the next generation of consoles, which EA executives claim to have seen and have pointed out that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox 720 will lay a greater emphasis on digital media rather than boxed games.
It is still early days for free-to-play but the next few years could decide whether or not the model sticks or whether it is another fad that is soon to be forgotten.
EA must be feeling the pressure from the likes of Sony, Ubisoft and Activision, each of whom is working on bringing triple-A offerings to their consoles and platforms, with Dust 514, Ghost Recon Online and Call of Duty Online respectively.