Electronic Arts (EA) seems to be putting a lot of its eggs in the free-to-play basket. The company had announced earlier this year that the next game in the Command & Conquer series would be free-to-play. Now, according to Eurogamer, the beta for the free-to-play strategy title is set to start during the first half of 2013.

According to the Command & Conquer blog, the developers have been quiet about the game because they want to let it speak for itself. “We've decided to actually let the game speak for itself, instead of starting the typical marketing noise you normally would expect. That being said, it might be a few more months before we reveal more information – we don't just want to tell you about the game, we want to show you.”

The new game in the series will not have single player

The beta is set to start in the first half of 2013

According to the blog, the company is going the free-to-play route with the next Command & Conquer game due to disappointing performances of the previous games in the series. “The team here and I know that previous Command & Conquer titles had issues – some less, some more. C&C4 (yes, I just named it!) was especially far below the expectations and standards a lot of us had for C&C games. So we know how you guys feel – and I am talking a lot with our design team to discuss the game mechanics, features and meta-game of our new Command & Conquer in development.”

Back in September, it was revealed that Command & Conquer will have a single-player game mode. President of EA Labels Frank Gibeau said in a recent interview that the game will indeed have single player. “Our intention with Command & Conquer is to create a triple-A experience,” said Gibeau.  “Does that mean it's not going to have single-player? No, that's something we've obviously heard loud and clear that is important to people. The beauty of free-to-play, is that we can adjust and adapt to what we're hearing as opposed to, 'I'm sorry, it's two months from ship and it is what it is.' It's a very different model because you don't have to build as much. You build in response to your audience.”

The game is set to have e-sport features. Here is what general manager of BioWare John Van Canaghem told PCGamer, “As a live service I think the exciting part is you can try things. You can see what the community wants, you can give it a shot, you can put it up for a weekend and see how it goes, develop towards what the fans like.”  EA is all set to release the other series in the Command & Conquer franchise – Red Alert and Tiberium – as free-to-play games.

When asked if the user account made in one of the new Command & Conquer games can be shared between the three upcoming free-to-play titles, Canaghem said, “We’re obviously open to the concept.” He continued, “I know another person asked me the other day if they’d be able to fight games between factions. I guess that’s something we can look at at some point.” The game is also hinted towards having things like a spectator mode. “I don’t think we’re making a list of the features yet, but I think you can basically make a list of the assumed ones that you’d need to be an e-sports game, and it’s definitely part of the plan.”

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