EA Chief Design Officer Patrick Söderlund has explained the reasoning behind putting Command & Conquer: Rivals onto mobile, stating that the platform was the “next natural step” for the franchise.
In an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, Söderlund went in-depth behind all the decisions regarding the legendary RTS’s conversion to mobile. The major motivation lay with getting as many people to play the game as possible, with EA recognising that “mobile is the biggest gaming platform on the planet.” Explaining the company’s decision further, he stated:
“RTS games are still relevant in the market and for the most part PC-based, but if you can get a successful multiplayer, competitive-type RTS game to work well on mobile, we believe that could reach hundreds of millions of players in the world.”
Interestingly, Söderlund explained that mobile would allow C&C to not only appeal to a wide variety of ages, but gender, too:
“We believe this is a modern, contemporary interpretation of the Command & Conquer brand, but I think [mobile’s] scale—not only across age but across gender—made this the natural platform for it. We’re going to come to a point where we need to respect mobile games as much as console games.”
The question quickly arose as to why EA chose C&C, not another military-based licence, or even a new IP altogether. The industry veteran explain it was a mix between C&C suiting the mechanics, as well as the IP’s market-value:
“I think it’s a little bit of both. When we started looking at this, we said OK, the Command & Conquer brand brings an IP that makes a game more interesting with the factions, the economy in there, and everything people relate to. […] In this particular instance, with the game design the team had? The Command & Conquer brand just fit.”
Unfortunately, this statement confirms that the decision to move the project to mobile was merely for financial opportunity, not because the platform was the best fit for the franchise. Whilst mobile is a rapidly growing market, EA appears to be using the historical licence of C&C to merely maximise revenue.