Command & Conquer dead, Victory Games closes doors

“Command & Conquer cancelled, Victory Games closed”

(source: joystiq.com)

Command & Conquer has been cancelled and EA has closed developer Victory Games. The cancellation comes via a post on the game’s site and the studio closure comes from EA in a statement to Game Informer:

“This does mean that the Victory Games team will be disbanded. Wherever possible, we are working to help these talented people find other opportunities with EA.”

The cancellation post says the multiplayer approach to Command & Conquer was its downfall.

“Your feedback from the alpha trial is clear: We are not making the game you want to play,” the post reads. “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.”

Victory and EA will refund all money spent in the alpha, expected to be handled over the next 10 days. EA say it is looking at ways to “get the game back on track.” The blog post, attributed to Victory Studios, was not approved by the development team, Command & Conquer’s Marketing Manager says on Twitter.

From the other thread.

Official statement attributed to Victory Games:

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.

Statement from EA:

The team at Victory Games will be disbanded.

Uhhhh…

That franchise had been mismanaged into oblivion.

The franchise should’ve been allowed to die peacefully after Red Alert 2. Generals, while a competent RTS, should never have carried the C&C name, and C&C3 was also not a bad game but successfully destroyed much of the already established fiction of the universe.

Red Alert 3 was only worth playing for armored war bears, Tim Curry chewing the scenery, Peter Stormare and the horribly unnecessary but nonetheless subtly amusing opportunity to hear George Takei say “all your base are belong to us.”

C&C4 does not exist.

Nonetheless, my sympathies to the people at Victory who deserved better than this.

Yeah jpinard. I was one big fan of the olde’ C&C (Westwood > Blizzard!), and for me it’s already dead and buried. The epitome of the series imo is C&C 1 and Red Alert 1, so I’m more into the classic ones. Tiberian Sun and Red Alert 2 were good and fun, but not the same, C&C3 decent, Red Alert 3 was really mediocre.

So for me the series was Single player, polished, kind of slow pace, good music, live action cutscenes, charismatic sides. It wasn’t f2p, multiplayer, hectic pace and micro micro.

“Take him out and shoot him!”

QFTMFT

Very strange… Alpha keys for the game went out about 2 weeks ago.

Was it just mismanagement? The only “traditional” RTS still going really is Starcraft and its been that way for years. I guess CoH would be the other one but its not a genre like shooters are even though in the late 90’s it looked like it could become one.

Read some stuff from people who worked at the studio. Poor management and stupid ideas from EA were an epidemic. Each game got worse and worse, AI was abysmal and the only redeeming features were cheesy cut-scenes in some games (if that was your thing). The constant sidelining of the core franchise to try out quick turnaround games (once they got going) or trying on the latest fad was a death sentence. Command & Conquer lore was powerful and wonderful but it was squandered so badly over the years it blew most of their fans loyalty and made us cynics.

When you have a AAA studio making “D” grade products how does that inspire confidence for your future products? Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight - Metacritic
It’s been forever since they produced a Command & Conquer that was universally praised. That’s not the fault of the market, but the studio and publisher. If the game’s hadn’t cascaded into a chasm the franchise would be strong.

Settlers VII is a pretty awesome RTS.

Well Metacritic has ed Alert 3 and Generals in the low-mids 80’s so I would call that pretty well received critically. Command 4 was low but again I think its as much that RTS just kinda faded as a major thing at least in NA besides Starcraft.

I was referring to the series in the subsequent 5 years. Generals & Red Alert 3 were good. C&C 4 was not panned because the RTS genre was fading. It was poorly received because the game was awful.

CnC 4 was just awful, plain awful. It didn’t need to be groundbreaking. Even if it was just decent and on par with CnC 3 it would’ve been fine. But EA was just trying something new that didn’t really work. Maybe in 10 years they’ll revive it again and it’ll be decent enough for me not to hate it.

While the RTS genre isn’t as big as it used to be, there is still a large audience that loves these types of games. They don’t need to do anything groundbreaking, just don’t do anything stupid to mess it up and you’ll get a lot of the core audience that plays RTS.

Your feedback from the alpha trial is clear: We are not making the game you want to play," the post reads.

Could have told you that the moment you started talking about the multiplayer-only shit.
Next time call me. Much easier and less costly…

Wasn’t C&C 4 originally meant to be a multiplayer only game that had its single player shoehorned in relatively late in its development? After having decided a multiplayer only C&C wasn’t going to work, EA’s next use of the franchise is a multiplayer only game…

Maybe Victory refused to incorporate a mechanic where it would take 30 seconds for a Mammoth tank to fire, but you could click to use Tiberium to fire immediately for $1.

I guess I am alone in that I liked CnC4. I found it to be an RTS take on node based king of the hill (like Company of Heroes or LoL Dominions) without the spam and rush to kill 4hp buildings like so many other titles. I also liked DoW2 multiplayer, so it could be me. It just felt like team coordination and inter team build composition mattered to a degree that it wasn’t 5 lone wolves versus 5 lone wolves all spamming tanks. Plus I loved the GI Joe vs Cobra feel of the unit art design.

Could be just me though.

I was okay with DoW2 as well, but C&C4 had at its most core level a fundamentally different type of spam than any other game I’m aware of. The entire game was one gigantic exercise in rock-paper-scissors mechanics. The small per-player unit caps coupled with the ability of players to manufacture new units for free in relatively small amounts of time meant that the whole game revolved around building Unit X which was the direct counter for the Unit A that your nearest opponent was using. Upon seeing you build Unit X, your opponent would then immediately switch production to Unit B (Unit X’s counter). And so on. They even color-coded the damage effects in the game so you could see at a glance that your lasers weren’t penetrating enemy light armor, or that your guns were plinking off something’s heavy armor. There was no real planning and no tactics, and the only two aspects of strategy that actually mattered were territory control (established by the initial rush and the subsequent deployment of every player’s Crawler in a giant line down the middle of the map) and outguessing your opponent’s choice of unit to build to get a leg up on the counter wars.

Throw in the XP unlock system that granted players who’d spent more time with the game all of the biggest and most effective toys, and you are left with a soulless game of tug of war with practically no real depth of note. The recently killed-off End of Nations had almost the exact same problem, except you couldn’t bring your production facilities to the front line like you could in C&C4 so there was actually an additional element of forethought and planning required to get your units to where you wanted them to be as they trickled in from the edge of the map.

The art design’s an interesting point, though C&C3 was already pushing the limits of cartoony art design that I was willing to stomach. The Tiberium games were relatively darker than the zany Red Alert universe, and I still prefer the relatively grim aesthetic of Tiberian Sun’s ruined world to anything in the Tiberium series that came after it. IMO, the Scorpion Tank design in C&C3 was amusing but already a bit ham-fisted. The Scorpion Tank redesign in C&C4 was cheap and unnecessary in my book.

The C&C Generals skirmish AI fucking sucks! So disappointing.

Wait.

Is this the same Victory Games that made the Close Combat games?

They were still around?