Electronic Arts will take its Command & Conquer franchise into the free-to-play space with Tiberium Alliances, a massively multiplayer online real-time strategy title under development at its German studio EA Phenomic.
Tiberium Alliances will mark the first time the 21-year-old series will have a free-to-play or MMO adaptation, let alone any kind of non-retail release. This new entry is meant to be a "portable MMO" with cross-platform accessibility on both web browsers and mobile devices.
Due to begin its closed beta on December 15, the HTML5-powered game invites players to "foster strategic alliances as they fight against each other and hordes of mutant enemies." It will integrate in-game social and news update feeds, allowing players to "strategize, react, and adapt on the spot."
EA points out to Gamasutra that Comand & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances is hosted on a standalone site, and is not a Facebook game. It's an approach the company took with other recent free-to-play browser releases like Lord of Ultima and Tiger Woods PGA Tour Online.
The developer behind Lord of Ultima, EA Phenomic, is also building Tiberium Alliances. Previously named Phenomic Game Development before its EA acquisition in 2006, the German firm has also released titles like BattleForge and the SpellForce series.
This is the second new title EA has in development for the long-running real-time strategy series. Last weekend, the publisher unveiled Command & Conquer: Generals 2 for a PC release in 2013, developed by its newly renamed BioWare Victory (previously Victory Games) studio.
Command & Conquer has seen nearly 20 releases (including expansions) in the last two decades from Westwood Studios, EA Pacific, and EA Los Angeles. To date, the franchise has sold a total of more than 30 million units around the world.
"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to forge new ground with this acclaimed franchise," says Phenomic senior producer Martin Lohlein. "We're hoping to deliver an experience that will allow our loyal fans to play their favorite franchise anywhere they go, while introducing the exciting world of Tiberium to new players."