New Command & Conquer cancelled

Believe it or not, but the upcoming free-to-play Command & Conquer reboot has just been axed. It’s the fourth game in the franchise to have been cancelled in just the past decade – a timeframe that coincides with the closure of Westwood Studios, the company that created the iconic series.

Developer Victory Games broke the news via blog post:

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.

The game was originally announced as Command & Conquer: Generals 2 back in 2011, and entered alpha testing earlier this year.

As Sam Bass, the game’s lead designer, told us at E3, the new Command & Conquer was moving away from its traditional, single-player campaign mode focus. Instead, the game was looking at a multiplayer experience, with a vibrant economy system.

It’s that economy system that might have tripped the project up, too: Gamers are notoriously resistant to the perception of “pay to win”, and many rejected the idea of microtransactions in the RTS. That said, anyone who did spend money on the doomed alpha experience will receive a full refund from EA over the next 10 days.

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. We look forward to sharing more news about the franchise as it develops. Thank you again for your participation and support.

…and if it wasn’t bad enough that the game has been canned, EA has also disbanded the team working at Victory Games. The LA-based studio is believed to have been working exclusively on C&C for three years, and has not released any other titles.

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