EA is promising a fully-fledged, free to play RTS experience.
Having very recently announced changes to its Origin service that will allow the platform to support free to play games, EA has now let loose details on one of the first such titles. Speaking at Gamescom, the publisher revealed that Command & Conquer Generals 2 will be released as a free to play online title in early 2013. You can take a peek at some gameplay clips in the trailer to the right.
Powered by the Frostbite 2 engine, EA claims that this free to play version of the game will feature all of the graphical sound and fury of a "full AAA strategy game." While Generals 2 will be on its lonesome at first, the publisher also says that it plans to release a raft of other free to play Command & Conquer titles on the same platform in the future.
EA's vice president, Jon Van Cagenhem, is apparently "thrilled" with this news. "For nearly two decades, this franchise has existed as something you buy; now we are creating a destination where our fans will be able to access the entire Command & Conquer universe, starting with Generals and continuing with Red Alert, Tiberium and beyond," he said. "With Frostbite 2, we are able to keep an emphasis on the AAA quality our consumers expect while staying true to the RTS gameplay they know and love - all available online for free."
If you'd like to sign up for the Generals 2 closed beta, which is open now, just head on over to the Command & Conquer website. While the news that EA has given out about this free to play title and its prospective brethren doesn't mention how the company plans to make money from them - 10-cent tanks, maybe? - expect to hear more about the nitty gritty over the coming months.