New Command & Conquer is Free-to-Play and Always-Online

Having not learned any lessons from SimCity's abysmal launch because it was an "always-on" title, EA has revealed that the next Command & Conquer game being developed by Victory Games will be free-to-play and will have a similar always connected requirement. Speaking to Joystiq the game's development director Tim Morten, says that while Command & Conquer will require an internet connection, using DICE's Frostbite engine will help them avoid some of the problems that SimCity suffered through.

"When you're peer-to-peer, inherently somebody else can hack their own peer, inherently you have to wait for their packets to get to you," he told Joystiq. "Client-server, the only place the server code lives is on the server, and the server has an authoritative world state so there's no wait for the other player's actions to get to you. That way we have the best multiplayer experience we can provide. It's not living on some person's machine; it's protected out in the cloud, so that nobody can cheat."

As for those who have a crappy Internet connection? Morten offers some familiar advice: buy old games in the series.

"It's unfortunate, I think, that there really is a heightened sensitivity, obviously, and it's caught on a lot with the Xbox One announce as well," he said. "We designed this as a live service – at the end of the day, if people want to play offline, we have a bunch of other great Command & Conquer games that we still offer in the Ultimate Collection. Some people live in parts of the world where they just don't have internet and we want them to still be able to play C&C, that's the Ultimate Collection – for them."

One point worth noting: unlike SimCity, Command & Conquer doesn't pretend to have a single-player component at all – it's an online game through and through. Command & Conquer is currently in closed beta, with an open beta planned later this year. You can sign up for that here.


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  1. 0
    NyuRena says:

    Try Supreme Commander – Forged Alliance or Sins of a Solar Empire – Rebellion, if you have not already, or wait for Planetary Annihilation, due out around the end of this year. They are much larger scale than C&C, but offer a good RTS experience and free flowing zoom modes that others simply don't have.

  2. 0
    Longjocks says:

    I stopped playing C&C after the steaming pile that was Generals (I reviewed it rather harshly for a site that I wrote for). I dabbled again with C&C3 as I got it cheap, however by then I was over RTS. I don't know if C&C has improved since then, and I have been dipping my toe back into RTS a little, but this doesn't exactly entice me to go back to the franchise.

  3. 0
    sqlrob says:

    "server has an authoritative world state so there's no wait for the other player's actions to get to you"

    Player 1 <–> Server <–> Player 2 has less of a wait than Player 1 <–> Player 2?

    Pull the other one, it's got bells on.


  4. 0
    NyuRena says:

    Ah, true, I'd forgotten that MS made that one. I still hate that trend either way…

    I sometimes wonder if this is an objectively terrible trend or am I just starting to become an old gamer fart "harumphing" at all changing paradigms?

  5. 0
    Dinasis says:

    I understand your point, but Age of Empires Online has nothing to do with EA. It's published by Microsoft, which, when you think about where things seem to be going, makes a lot of sense these days…

  6. 0
    NyuRena says:

    EA's thinking… "Every beloved single player or LAN/Direct IP RTS/FPS/RPG is "better" with a centralized MMOish F2P nickle and dime setup."

    I loved Age of Empires 1/2/3: Didn't even think about trying AOE online.

    C&C is going online too: R.I.P. C&C, I won't bother with you either.

    (I wonder what other, formerly, fun game is on the chopping block next?)

    Please go $%^& yourself sideways in a vat of acid EA. Just Die!


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