Command & Conquer: Generals 2, sequel to the highly rated Command & Conquer: Generals (2003) and its expansion pack, Zero Hour (2004), has undergone a (r)evolution. Instead of a retail title, it will be released as a Free-to-Play online strategy game, simply titled Command & Conquer, available only as a digital download.
Although the switch to a free-to-play model brought some drastic changes into the game, none of them affected gameplay planned by the developers: the new Command & Conquer will feature traditional real time strategy gameplay, including resource collection, base building and large scale warfare in spirit of the series. No change was made to the engine either: it will use Frostbite 2, known from Battlefield 3, which means that it will include fully destructible environments, dynamic physics and high quality graphics.
Elements that were changed will likely upset some players. The biggest change, or rather, removal, concerns single player: the game will not contain a traditional campaign for a single player at launch. To date, only one other title in the series did not include one: Command & Conquer: Sole Survivor (1997). BioWare Victory, the game’s developer, has not stated outright that no single player will be made, while the official FAQ states that the design process will be based on a feedback-driven model. Future content and changes to released games will greatly depend on feedback given by players. No further information has been released at this time.
What is known, however, is that Electronic Arts has bigger plans for Command & Conquer. In the words of Jon Van Caneghem (general manager of BioWare Victory and father of the Heroes of Might & Magic series), the developers are creating a destination for fans of the franchise to access the entire universe of Command & Conquer, starting with Generals and continuing with Red Alert, Tiberium and beyond.
Command & Conquer is slated for release in 2013 as a PC-exclusive title. BioWare Victory is planning a closed beta for the game and is currently accepting registrations. Players that have already pre-ordered Command & Conquer: Generals 2 are advised by Electronic Arts to request a refund from their retailer, if one has not been made already.