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 Command & Conquer  Goes Free-To-Play With New Browser Game
Command & Conquer Goes Free-To-Play With New Browser Game
December 14, 2011 | By Eric Caoili

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."

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Brandon Karratti
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This sounds like a really interesting idea. While I'm not sure about the balancing issues in a free-to-play strategy game, if done correctly, opening up the game to a large-scale tactical mindset, and forcing alliances to be formed among players in order to survive and thrive could really make the "social" aspect of the game to amount to more than just "send me a rubber duckie so I can build my shower."

Joe McGinn
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It is interesting, but would be more optimistic of an "all in" strategy, rather than both MMO + boxed product. it can end up with efforts like the free-to-play Battlefield, which can only be described as "Battlefield light."

Aleksander Adamkiewicz
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Thats very odd, considering Bioware coming out with a new C&C Generals title now.

Gil Salvado
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actually it's very clever. generals isn't exactly the same setting and is going to be retail, whereas tiberium alliance is going to be browser-based, portable and free2play. They're spreading the bandwith a lot by doing so.

Aleksander Adamkiewicz
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I forgot for a second that Bioware is EA now, sorry.

Gil Salvado
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yeah, free2play is just a trend that will pass ... like the internet.

Laurent Hogue
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"Tiberium Alliances will mark the first time the 21-year-old series"

Not 21, 16: 1st C&C was released in 1995.