Electronic Arts has decided to cancel its free-to-play Command & Conquer title that has been in beta testing for the past few months. In addition to the game being cancelled, EA also decided to close down the development team behind the title, Victory Games.
In a statement titled “A New Future For Command & Conquer,” Victory Games explained the reasoning behind the cancellation:
Thank you for your participation over the last few months in the Command & Conquer closed alpha test. It’s been much appreciated, and you’ve been instrumental in helping define what a new Command & Conquer experience should and shouldn’t be.
Part of being in a creative team is the understanding that not all of your choices are going to work out. In this case, we shifted the game away from campaign mode and built an economy-based, multiplayer experience. Your feedback from the alpha trial is clear: We are not making the game you want to play. That is why, after much difficult deliberation, we have decided to cease production of this version of the game. Although we deeply respect the great work done by our talented team, ultimately it’s about getting you the game you expect and deserve.
Over the next 10 days we will be refunding any and all money spent in the alpha. If you have a question about your refund, please contact help.ea.com.
We believe that Command & Conquer is a powerful franchise with huge potential and a great history, and we are determined to get the best game made as soon as possible. To that end, we have already begun looking at a number of alternatives to get the game back on track. We look forward to sharing more news about the franchise as it develops. Thank you again for your participation and support.”
Originally announced as Command & Conquer Generals 2, the strategy game was first conceived as a traditional entry into the long running series. Following recent trends though, EA decided to switch gears on the series and shift it over to a free-to-play model that would feature an additional single-player campaign and credits that could be purchased with real money.
Going by what the statement says though, it appears that this iteration of Command & Conquer was a complete debacle. How often do you hear of a company such as EA deciding to stop development on a title due to feedback being that bad? This was a title that had been in development since at least 2011, so something must have went very wrong here.
As for the future of the franchise, well, I hope this isn’t the last we hear of it. It’s still a name-brand series, so I doubt EA will throw it away completely, but it would be a shame to see a franchise that housed such excellent titles as Red Alert and Generals be cast away due to a couple of bad moves.
When we hear more about the future of the Command & Conquer franchise we will be sure to let you know.