Electronic Arts is gearing up for the release of Command & Conquer: Rivals, the competitive mobile game based on the popular RTS series that no one asked for and no one really cares about.
EA announced that Command & Conquer: Rivals will in fact go live starting December 4th next month for the Android and iOS operating systems.
As noted by Michael Martinez, Redwood Studios general manager, the launch of the game and the PvP features is just the first step towards EA’s goal to turn Command & Conquer: Rivals into an e-sport venture…
“We’ve been thrilled to see the early response from players during soft launch. Player feedback has made the game stronger for our launch in December and we’ll continue to work with the community as we accelerate into esports next year.”
Usually the whole e-sports thing only comes about when you actually have a community who wants to get competitive on a local, regional, or global stage. It would seem like they would work toward building up a solid audience first before trying to chime in on the e-sports business.
But this is all assuming there’s going to be a solid audience to begin with. As noted by Angry Joe coming off the E3 announcement, this wasn’t the RTS C&C game that longtime fans have been waiting for.
In a way, this was the proto-Diablo Immortal fiasco before Blizzard took a dump in the fanbase bed at BlizzCon 2018.
The only difference was that gamers have become so accustomed to being disappointed over the years they’ve basically abjured their fandom for Command & Conquer at this point, expecting little more than failure from the brand. In fact, instead of making a ruckus about how much they hated Rivals, gamers simply downvoted the announcement trailer and forgot it existed.
EA is letting a little something like a missing core audience dissuade them from pursuing Command & Conquer: Rivals. This is why the company is mimicking the FIFA Ultimate Team Champions e-sports league to setup multi-continent matchmaking tournaments for the upcoming RTS and allow gamers to earn rewards for competing against other players.
I hope Blizzard is watching Command & Conquer: Rivals closely, because there’s a lot of similitude in how the community has reacted to both products, and post-launch player engagement for Rivals could spell out the sort of fate we could be expecting for Diablo Immortal.