C&C Labs News Wire

— Tuesday, September 30, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 2:33:07 PM ET

Tiberium Canceled

According to reports at Kotaku and MarketWatch, the following memo was sent around EA by Mike Verdu, announcing the cancelation of Tiberium, the quasi-C&C first person shooter:

It is with a heavy heart that I announce an end to all work on Tiberium effective immediately. I've consulted with Nick Earl and Frank Gibeau at the EA Games Label and together we have reached the conclusion that given the time and resources remaining, we will not be able to deliver this product to an appropriate level of quality.

The game had fundamental design challenges from the start. We fought to correct the issues, but we were not successful; the game just isn't coming together well enough to meet our own quality expectations as well as those of our consumers.

Unfortunately, this action will result in several individuals on the team being released. We will make every effort to place affected individuals on projects within the studio – and where that isn't possible, to connect them with opportunities in other teams at EA.

This is the right move for the studio and the company, but it's particularly hard for me because of the impact it will have on our people. Many individuals contributed their time and talents to this game. I spent time in the trenches with them and I was continually impressed by their work.

Moving forward, we need to make sure this doesn't happen again. I believe we are already doing a better job of engineering success in from the start. The quality bar has been raised. Now we need to step up our focus on great design and execution, catching any problems early and correcting them quickly.

We will strive to live up to our values: To make great games, treat people right, keep our commitments, and grow our business.

I strongly suspect Mike Verdu will not be one of the individuals released.


Curious is Verdu's attempt to draw in EA Games Vide President Nick Earl and President Frank Gibeau--is he trying to imply that the decision came from above?

This is another failure in managment on EALA's part. Something went wrong here again. My guess: the game announcement was moved up for some unknown reason (I'm sure the exclusive cover on a leading gaming magazine was a nice perk) and was put out into the open before it had its design settled and much art done. The public updates were sporadic and not particularly well received. What EA could have--and should have--done is kept quiet about the game, as they already had Red Alert 3 in development and on fans' minds and waited until much later to announce it, perhaps after the RA3 release.

Ultimately, we don't know if this is good or bad for C&C (this is better than another rushed and buggy game), but it will be a significant financial hit to EALA. When I was at EALA in June, I saw the Tiberium team filing in for a staff meeting, and it was quite large in size, perhaps fifty individuals. The cost from paying all those individuals for at least a year of development (the game was announced last December, but was almost certainly in development at least a bit before then) has to be quite high. To put it in other terms, I would be willing to bet that EA spent more on this (now dead) game than they did on Kane's Wrath, which they outsourced to another company. This is a significant day for EA and Mike Verdu as they try to shape their label of games moving forward. It certainly bears watching.

We'd be happy to hear your comments.


— Saturday, September 27, 2008 —

Posted By: Mike at 11:04:05 AM ET

Kane's Wrath World Builder 1.1 Released

C&C 3 Kane's Wrath: World BuilderEA has just released an updated version of the Kane's Wrath World Builder on the official C&C site.  The new version of World Builder requires that you have Kane's Wrath patch 1.01 installed.

This new version of Worldbuilder for Command & Conquer 3 Kanes Wrath contains a few critical fixes to the version that originally shipped with the game.

  • Tile feedback and Terrain Panting Mode has been fixed so users can now paint passability and impassibility terrains. This also fixes Tiberium Growth terrain painting.
  • Fixed a generic crash when creating a new map.

You can download the new version of World Builder from Generals World by clicking below.

Last edited by Mike on Saturday, September 27, 2008 at 3:04:50 PM.

— Sunday, September 21, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 10:14:06 AM ET

C&C 3: The Forgotten Media Update

So it's been four months since we announced the mod, and we've managed to pull ourselves away from playing the internal version to get some nice renders and screens for you to see. We have two renders, five screens, and one bonus piece of concept art for you to examine. You can read more about our newly-revealed units and structures--the Slicer, the Longhorn, the Mortar Tower, and the Tacitus Library--on our units and structures pages. In addition, we've also begun developing the singleplayer campaign for the mod, something we are very excited about, and will be showcasing more in the future. See the mod's site here.

We promise it won't be four months until the next update. In the meantime, enjoy!

The pride of the Forgotten, the Longhorn (by Andy Littleton)

The EMP Mortar Tower (by Tsumetai)

The Tacitus Library, where the secrets of The Forgotten are kept (by Kane Nash)

A Forgotten outpost, with defended Power Stations (by Tsumetai, paimail, and Kane Nash)

A Forgotten attack force. Run while you can. (By Andy Littleton, Kane Nash, and Tsumetai)

The fearsome EMP Mortar Tower in game, capable of frying and destroying enemy vehicles (by Tsumetai)

A Forgotten base, heavily defended by Mortar Towers, Marauders, and Slicers

A Forgotten base, home of innovation and indignation
Last edited by Blbpaws on Sunday, September 21, 2008 at 2:17:31 PM.

— Wednesday, September 10, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 9:06:18 PM ET

"The Red Alert" Announced!

As we've said before, our biggest goal with our C&C Labs project is to create a creative community of innovation for C&C games. We recognize the ambition in this goal, which is why we are moving slowly and carefully, but we also recognize milestones along the way. Today I'm happy to announce that we've passed another milestone: C&C Labs is now actively developing two full-scale mods at once, for two different C&C games, as we are officially ready to announce that "The Red Alert" is in development for Red Alert 3.

The Red Alert undertakes one of the most ambitious tasks in C&C modding: to recreate and improve upon an original game. The Red Alert, a mod in development for Red Alert 3, is based off the original Red Alert's art and game play. Not aiming to model realism, it instead endeavors to bring the addictive heart-pounding game play of the classic to a world-class 3D engine, to bring back all of the classic units, including those from Aftermath, and to recreate the very "feel" of its art style. With The Red Alert, epic tank battles, MiG attack runs, and Cruiser strikes will be more than just fond memories — they will all be weapons in your arsenal once again!

In large part, this is being driven by the team that brought you C&C All Stars and is also developing C&C 3: The Forgotten. For those who question the advisability of doing two mods at once, all I can say to you is that this is the only way we could do it, and that individuals have well-defined roles on each team that will allow both to flourish. I believe very much that taking this step will in the end produce two high-quality, yet very different in kind, mods for C&C fans to enjoy. Each mod is well-steeped in the C&C tradition, one building upon a story and the other recreating an epic and history-making game in full 3D.

Don't believe me? Take a look at some of the early art shots from the Red Alert. All of these were modeled and textured by our talented artist Tsumetai:

There are ten other renders waiting for you at The Red Alert's page on C&C Labs. You can discuss this in our forums here. Check them out and tell us what you think!

Last edited by Blbpaws on Thursday, September 11, 2008 at 11:32:50 AM.

— Monday, September 8, 2008 —

Posted By: Blbpaws at 5:31:35 PM ET

Good News about RA3 DRM

In a move that shows significant pushback against typical corporate lawyer thinking, EA has announced its rather limited plans with regards to Digital Rights Management for the upcoming Red Alert 3. Here is the relevant information from Executive Producer Chris Corry:

  • We will authenticate your game online when you install and launch it the first time.
  • We will never re-authenticate an installation online after the first launch. In other words, no reaching out to a central server post-install to see if you’re “allowed” to play.
  • You will be able to install and play on up to five computers.
  • This system means you don't have to play with the disc in your computer. Personally, I think this is a huge improvement over our previous copy protection requirements, which have always required a disk to play.
  • Life happens. I know it’s unlikely, but for those unlucky few who install the game and have their machines nuked (virus, OS reinstall, major hardware upgrade, etc.) five times, EA Customer Service will be on hand to supply any additional authorizations that are warranted. This will be done on a case-by-case basis by contacting customer support.
  • You can, of course, play offline without impediment or penalty.


You can read Corry's post here. Definitely a good move on EA's part. As has been so many times shown, you don't increase sales (or prevent piracy) by annoying your customers.