Command & Conquer's future may be limited to free-to-play titles, Victory Games has said, telling VideoGamer.com that "the days of a boxed [Command & Conquer] release are probably over".
Discussing the reason for going free-to-play with this year's Command & Conquer at Gamescom, Victory Games' general manager Jon Van Caneghem explained that "from both a features and an ongoing, adding-to-the-product point of view, it was more exciting to go the free-to-play route than it was the boxed route.
"And given what's been happening with retail and around the world... For example, we think one of our bigger markets will be Asia with this game, and there is no retail market there. And some of the games that have done really well there have followed this exact model, so we really think Command & Conquer is much more of a worldwide franchise.
"We have fans in every country around the world: Eastern Europe, China, you name it... We want to be able to bring this game to everyone, and I think not going the retail route was the way that we could expand our audience to a bigger audience."
Command & Conquer's 'live service' platform has been designed to be supported for the next 10 years, Van Canegham adds, with on-going content including new factions, missions and additional Command & Conquer universes set to be introduced throughout the game's life.
"It's a long-term goal," he continues. "We built this Command & Conquer shell and frame to be the one-stop place for Command & Conquer for the next 10 years, so we want to add the other universes and maybe even a new universe that we didn't even have before, all under the same landing site, log-in [and] persona that you would keep track of.
"We definitely believe it will [last 10 years]. And if we can keep it updated it'll last even longer."
But with Victory focusing on free-to-play Command & Conquer for the next decade, the chances of a full, retail Command & Conquer sequel being developed appear slim.
"Yeah, I think maybe the days of a boxed [Command & Conquer] release are probably over," Van Canegham adds. "But there's always a need sometimes for Collector's Editions that are nice to put in a box where you get extra materials, so that's not out of the question [for Command & Conquer 2013]. In fact, a lot of people in a lot of territories have asked for those.
"I think there's still a desire for that in a lot of places. People want the art book or the figurines or whatever we decide to do in a Collector's Edition that you can't get digitally. "
Command & Conquer is due to launch in full later this year.