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El33tonline.com Gamescom Interview with Jon van Caneghem

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Here's another interview with Victory Games’ General Manager, Jon Van Caneghem, this time from from El33tonline.com. This one is a more traditional text interview, no fancy video here. It's still somewhat informative, though. Check out the sample below....



Tom: Okay, my first question is what are some of the things that you can accomplish with a free-to-play model that you can’t accomplish with a retail release.

Jon: That’s a great question. So first of all the PC world has been evolving to move much more online and digital, and that comes with free-to-play. But it’s a very exciting step for us building the next generation Command & Conquer. So before we’d plan a game, put it in a box and it would be done, and we’d move onto the next game or maybe an expansion pack. As a free-to-play game it’s much more of a service. So it goes live, we watch all the data, we take all the feedback, and every week, every two weeks we change it, we make it better, we can add to it, we can keep adding more features that we wanted to that we couldn’t do in the usual development cycle, and it becomes a game that just gets better over time. I think it’s a great win for both the consumers and for us developers – it’s very exciting because before we’d have to cut features to make the release date. Now those features just go on a schedule. Yeah, it’s just a release schedule that happens as the game is live. So for us it’s very exciting and for the customers – they get a game that gets better.

Tom: In terms of the game’s free-to-play model – what is it that people are paying for?

Jon: So we were very sensitive about that – we didn’t want to have a Facebook-like time restriction. We wanted people to come to the game with the expectation of it’s just like the boxed game – you can play everything. We have two currencies – one is the one you buy with your own money and the other one is you play and you play – you’re grinding basically. It’s similar to League of Legends, World of Tanks – those A games that have gone online and free-to-play. And almost everything in the game you can buy with that second currency, so if you want to take your time and not spend money then that’s perfectly fine, or if you want to speed up your progression or your access or you want to get there faster then you can pay with real money.

You can read the full interview right here.

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I enjoyed that read.


I liked the last question/answer the most:


In terms of the community you have now with the closed beta – are you finding that there are a lot of old school Command & Conquer players? Are there a lot of newcomers to the series who are intrigued by what this Command & Conquer is all about?



I’d say there’s a good amount of both. I mean we have a really great community that’s been keeping this game and this franchise going for fifteen plus years so they are our biggest noise, you might say. But we do get a lot of new players who may not have played Command & Conquer but they’ve played StarCraft or League of Legends and they’ve heard about it and they’re like, “Wow, this is really cool!” We get all sorts of questions and we’re like, “Okay, come and play and join the community and give us your feedback.”




I don't know what it is with EA employees all starting their sentences with "so..." but it's been going on for years!


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