Electronic Arts has scrapped plans to reboot the Command & Conquer real-time strategy series as a free-to-play title, shutting the game down ahead of its beta stage and closing the studio responsible.
Originally announced back in 2012 as a new direction for a planned Command & Conquer: Generals sequel
, the game was in development by Victory Studios until being shut down this week. Built on the DICE Frostbite engine, the game initially promised campaign-based single-player gameplay before switching to a more massively multiplayer model using the free-to-play model - in other words, allowing players to trade real-world cash for in-game assets to gain an advantage over the opposition.
The game had been running a closed alpha test for the past few months, and had planned to open up to a wider beta in the near future. Sadly, however, that is now not going to happen with EA officially pulling the plug on the title and closing Victory Studios down.
'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,
' a Victory Studios spokesperson explained on the company's website
. 'Although we deeply respect the great work done by our talented team, ultimately it’s about getting you the game you expect and deserve.
Interestingly, despite being in alpha status players were granted the ability to spend real-world cash on the game - cash that will now be refunded in full, the studio has confirmed.
'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,
' the spokesperson concluded. 'We look forward to sharing more news about the franchise as it develops. Thank you again for your participation and support.
Speaking to GameInformer
, EA confirmed that Victory Studios will be closed as a result of the cancellation. 'This does mean that the Victory Games team will be disbanded,
' a company spokesperson told the site. 'Wherever possible, we are working to help these talented people find other opportunities with EA.