Victory Games, the studio at work on the current iteration of Command & Conquer, have claimed that the series’ days of being a boxed, retail release are most likely finished, and that the series is planned to be free-to-play for at least the next ten years.
Talking to Videogamer.com, Victory Games’ general manager Jon Van Caneghem detailed the developer’s plans for the next decade of Command & Conquer, explaining that a free-to-play design was the logical step forward for the franchise: “from both a features and an ongoing, adding-to-the-product point of view, it was more exciting to go the free-to-play route than it was the boxed route.”
One of the reasons behind the free-to-play decision was the predicted success of Command & Conquer in Asian markets. “We think one of our bigger markets will be Asia with this game, and there is no retail market there. And some of the games that have done really well there have followed this exact model, so we really think Command & Conquer is much more of a worldwide franchise.
"We have fans in every country around the world: Eastern Europe, China, you name it... We want to be able to bring this game to everyone, and I think not going the retail route was the way that we could expand our audience to a bigger audience."
Van Canegham proceeded to explain that the digital platform Victory are creating for Command & Conquer has been designed to support ten years worth of continued content, including new factions, missions and even other universes. Like Battlelog forms the main hub for EA’s Battlefield and Medal of Honor games, Victory’s Command & Conquer platform will support every new game in the franchise, all with the same log-in details and online persona. "We definitely believe it will [last 10 years]. And if we can keep it updated it'll last even longer" said Van Canegham.
The platform may be ready for new games, but chances are none of those future games will be purchased in a shop. Not unless EA decided to published a collectors edition. “I think maybe the days of a boxed [Command & Conquer] release are probably over," Van Canegham explained. "But there's always a need sometimes for Collector's Editions that are nice to put in a box where you get extra materials, so that's not out of the question [for Command & Conquer 2013]. In fact, a lot of people in a lot of territories have asked for those.”
Command & Conquer will release online later this year.