A new game in the Command and Conquer series was revealed yesterday at EA Play, Electronic Arts’ pre-E3 conference. Yet, it was not the revival of the franchise fans have been wishing for since the glory days of Red Alert 2. Instead, it was a mobile game, titled Command and Conquer: Rivals. Players fight in 1v1 matches buying and controlling units on a small map, fighting over capture points in the center of the arena. Similar to many mobile games, such as Clash Royale, the game presents a polished, if uninspired, basic strategy experience for mobile gamers to enjoy.
Yet those dedicated gamers watching the press conference, many of whom have fond memories of the earlier Command and Conquer games, were unimpressed, even upset at the reveal. To them, its another symptom of the lack of respect EA has for classic franchises like Sim City and Dungeon Keeper. “EA aren’t merely content with just killing C&C. Now they’re digging up its corpse to defile it one last time” said one, possibly over-dramatic, Reddit user /u/Korelle. A sentiment repeated throughout related Reddit and Twitter threads, fans are upset that Command and Conquer has been re-purposed for smartphone gaming.
Still, others are upset at the presentation and EA’s apparent difficulty in understanding their audience. Reddit user /u/ZombiePyroNinja asked, “Is it really this possible to be so disconnected from your audience that they thought forcing esports on an e3 stage for a mobile game was exciting at all?” Companies forcing “eSports” into various franchises is certainly a trend at press conferences in recent years, one that remains very unpopular. Rivals getting 10 minutes of dedicated stage-time further wore viewers’ patience thin after an already disappointing first half. The fact that most of the gaming community, especially those of us watching E3, have (justifiably) little respect for mobile gaming just makes matters worse.
Some are even content to pretend this doesn’t exist. Similar to the reaction to most video game movies, fans want to simply forget about this presentation all together. “This game doesn’t exist and will never exist. You get nothing by getting angry, just ignore this shit” said user /u/shapookya. Unfortunately, Command and Conquer: Rivals does, in fact, exist, and its another perfect demonstration of EA’s contempt for classic series in its catalogue.