Hello everyone! Im back at home from Gamescom and I must admit that, due to the terrible internet connection inside the hotel (free one with 256kb bandwidth or expensive one that did not login most of the times) and the hectic days there made our news update job quite hard. You may notice that other sites that had representants in the event didn't reveal much during the event for the same reasons.
Anyway, I've seen that most of the people here complained about lack of modding and how the monetization strategy from the C&C dev team doesn't fit modding. I wanna start clarifying these issues. Actually Victory Games wants user created content... both maps and mods (or at least modified game modes) and modding itself would actually be positive for their monetization plans. The problem is called DICE, the company who produces the Frostbite engine.
Victory Games has recently announced that there will be a premium plan for the game. Although the standard way to hire it should be through a payment for a fixed time (and then you renew if you want), they did not rule out the possibility of one payment for a lifetime aquisition, like boxed games.
The premium plan should allow you to create custom games and gain experience faster (VP), in order to recruit new Generals. Custom games should allow you to:
- Choose the map
- Choose the colour of your faction.
- Add or remove AI and human players.
- Choose AI's difficulty level. (not enabled in the beta we played)
- Other options should be revealed later.
That sounds pretty much basic, but if you take into account that all other C&C games barely allow you to access the main menu of the game without paying for it, it shouldn't be that bad. If you don't want to pay for it, you can simply choose your general, gamemode and hit 'Play' in order to play.
With that said, it's easy to figure out that custom maps would actually attract premium users, since it would be hard to play it by hoping that the game will choose it for you. The gamemodes or mods would attract more users who would eventually like to customize their experience.
Regarding mods or custom game mods, they would still be interesting if there is no experience collected by playing them, although we have no idea how they would implement it, if they do.
The whole problem is that Frostbite engine only loads content that was precompiled with their editor. This is a part of the engine restricted to DICE where Victory Games programmers and software engineers have no access. The engine is unable to read external files and use their content to change ingame content or stats. Implementing such feature is costly and it is not their priority at the moment, because they have not finished the game mechanics yet.
Command & Conquer developpers values the efforts of the modding community since the days of Westwood Studios and they are aware of how it boosted the sales of moddable C&C games. I don't know if the executives above them and investors have the same kind of thought. As far as I've seen CIRE's reaction, they are more interested on user created maps, rather than mods or gamemodes.
And that's all for this post. Expect more coverage of the game both here and at Project Perfect Mod.