EA has very recently announced that its upcoming free-to-play RTS, Command & Conquer (formerly known by the title Command & Conquer: Generals 2) has been cancelled. The release on the Command & Conquer website states that, after listening to the feedback from their closed alpha test, the team realised that it wasn’t making the game that people wanted to play. Luckily, no-one was court marshalled and shot, but EA did close down the Victory Games studio, and will apparently assist their talented people in finding other opportunities within EA.
While it’s sad to hear about the studio closure, it is good to see that EA takes feedback seriously and acts on it. They’ve taken things a step further by stating on the C&C website, “we will be refunding any and all money spent in the alpha”. Now that is customer focus.
The new title is not completely lost, but will likely receive a serious overhaul before the gaming public gets their hands on it. Is this level of customer interaction a good thing, or are games heading down cinema’s minefield of decision by “test audience”?