Today at gamescom EA dropped a bombshell with the announcement of the new free-to-play Command & Conquer experience. Unlike the other free to play web game C&C Tiberium Alliances, this new game is the previously announced frostbite based game, Command & Conquer Generals 2, just transformed into free-to-play. With making a major AAA RTS title like this free-to-play EA is betting heavily that the future of video gaming is going to be going this way.
“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.”
What we don’t know yet is if their will still be a single player campaign in the game as the quotes and news only speak of the online experience. We also don’t know how the game will make money for EA. Will my air force be sponsored by Coke, will there be mandatory ad breaks in the game, or will I have to pay $5.99 to unlock a tank or plane. Only time will tell. Command & Conquer will be available as a free, client-based game for the PC in 2013.