It might have been leaked a few days ago, but now the official news is finally here. A new entry in the much-loved Command & Conquer series is currently in development, and it's being made by new studio Victory Games.
In an interview over on the Command & Conquer Blog, Victory Games' General Manager, Jon Van Caneghem, spoke about the new look of commandandconquer.com, as well as future development projects for the studio. Included in those projects is a brand new Command and Conquer, and while we don't know much about it yet, that won't stop us from speculating.
"Our current focus is making a AAA Command & Conquer game, which I am very excited to be working on."
Perhaps most interesting is Van Canaghem's constant referral to the title as 'Command & Conquer' -- of course, most fans of the series will know about the series' lacklustre fourth outing, but less will remember EA's assertion that Tiberium Twilight would be the last in Kane's saga. By leaving out any form of a series subtitle -- such as Red Alert or Generals -- it's safe to assume that this will be a new title in the original C & C series... so where does it go from here?
Of course, the obvious answer is a reboot, a la Medal of Honor for which EA also rebooted last year sans the subtitle. Experienced by many-a-series, reboots can revitalise passion for a series that most had believed would slowly disappear. Does Command & Conquer truly need rebooting? At Game Rant HQ, with our Editor-in-Chief Rob Keyes stating, "What 'Command & Conquer' needs is a step back to reality and a step back in the timeline. Less lasers, aliens, mutants and weaponized animals."
Long-time readers of Game Rant will remember a story we ran back in November 2009, where Van Canaghem explained his thoughts on where the future of the Command & Conquer series lies, and the change of direction the series might take. The most surprising, and perhaps saddening for fans, quote he gave was a simple one. The future of Command & Conquer is a social one:
“Look what online has done for RPGs over the last 10 years. All the other categories are following suit… we’re looking forward to building something to be a leader in that space. It allows you to do everything you would have expected from a boxed game, but it adds a lot more to it… being connected and connected with players, and persistence, the social elements of playing against each other with other friends. What you’re seeing with all the social gamers on Facebook… they are actually already playing strategy games whether they know it or not. Taking a franchise like Command and Conquer and expanding it to a wider audience is part of the strategy.”
It may sound worrying for some, but social gaming isn't always a bad thing. In a series that has an overarching storyline spanning four games and numerous expansions, Command & Conquer needs to take a step back, re-evaluate what was fun about the first game, and attempt to capitalize on that. It's a sentiment that apparently became the reason for Victory Games' chosen studio title:
"The initial idea came from the obvious parallel of winning in a strategy game, where the word “Victory” often ends up on your screen. The reason I think it fits so well is when you look at how to be successful in strategy games: it’s the ability to anticipate, plan, and react."
So, the new Command & Conquer game could be one that is based on social interactions, and is quickly ignored as a game for 'the casual folk', or it could be one that forces quick, strategic thinking and places the series back on top of the Real-Time Strategy genre. No pressure then, Victory Games.
Command & Conquer is a brand new title from Victory Games, and is likely to release sometime in 2011. Stay tuned to Game Rant for more details.
Source: Command & Conquer Blog