Electronic Arts has debriefed the developers of the upcoming free to play Command & Conquer for the last time it seems. The upcoming multiplayer shooter has been shelved by the publisher and the game’s developer, Victory Games, has been shuttered according to multiple media reports. It’s sad to see such a promising entry in a long running series and an untold number of developers assigned to new projects or worse out of a job.
In a detailed statement on the official C&C website the publisher revealed the decision to cancel the project after collecting feedback from the game’s recent closed alpha test. In particular they cite the game’s lack of focus on a campaign mode and “built-in economy system” as a concern from series veterans. They promised to continue work on C&C, but with the developer closed it’s probable that whatever form the series takes next a new developer will be at the helm.
In part their statement read:
“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.”
Originally Command & Conquer was unveiled as C&C: Generals 2 at the 2011 Spike Video Game Awards. It was later rebranded as Command & Conquer with a focus on multiplayer rather than the singe player the series is known for. This upset many long-time fans, myself included – after the debacle that was the removal of base building in C&C 4, how could they mess up? Well, by not shipping a playable / enjoyable game two years after announcement – that’s how.
If you’re wondering what could have been, YouTube has several lengthy gameplay videos from E3 and the recent Alpha trial that gives us a brief look at what Victory Games was planning.