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Feature: Is there a way forward for RTS?

Thursday, 4 February 2010 14:40 GMT By Patrick Garratt

starcraft22

RTS is doomed, if you listen to the naysayers. We sincerely hoped it wasn’t, so we asked EndWar dev lead and Ubisoft Montpellier creative director Michael de Plater, RUSE developer Eugen and British starlet Creative Assembly what problems are facing real-time strategy and whether or not the genre can move passed them.

Interviews by Patrick Garratt.

If ever a gaming genre has become a lightning rod for brow-knotting aphorisms, it’s real-time strategy. Conventional wisdom dictates that RTS has failed to crack the console market in this or any other generation, despite repeated attempts from talented teams, and its native PC home has been relentlessly attacked by pirates in recent years. It’s a two-pronged assault to which even the biggest names in games have apparently no answer, say the worriers.

Patience has worn thin and consumer interest has waned. Publisher behaviour has shown this cycle’s bloated budgets simply aren’t worth the return when it comes to RTS: big-name studios such as Ensemble and Massive have both suffered despite critical success, the former facing complete closure.

The console conundrum has proven unbreakable, with both Microsoft backing away after dipping a single toe in the water with Halo Wars, and EA retreating from 360 and PS3 after a cross-platform attempt with Red Alert 3. Command & Conquer 4 is to be PC-only.

But what exactly is the problem? Speaking in private, even veteran PC journalists admit they believe real-time strategy is all out of luck. Mr RTS is slumped over the corner of the roulette table, singing old war songs while the croupier calls security. And if lovers of the genre are picking up their chips and edging quietly away, how can there possibly be a route forward?

Take the myth, crush like bug

To answer the question of why RTS is seemingly betting black in a world of red, it’s first necessary to shatter some illusions. RTS has failed on console, right? Actually, no. The top-selling real-time strategy title between 2004-2009 was Halo Wars, a 360 exclusive, followed by Age of Empires III, Warcraft III: Battlechest, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars and Tom Clancy’s EndWar, which released on 360 and PS3 as well as PC. Halo Wars has life-to-date sales of around 700,000 in the US, and an estimated 1-1.2 million globally.

The assumption is obvious: Halo Wars succeeded because of the IP. Creative Assembly online manager Mark O’Connell reckons it’s not that simple.

“Of course, the Halo franchise is massively popular and undoubtedly brought a lot of its fan base over to its new genre,” he says, but “there is definitely a market for strategy games on console, as long as it’s done right.”

Michael de Plater, Ubisoft Montpellier creative director and lead on EndWar, adds that the problem isn’t that no console audience for RTS exists, but just that the overall RTS fan-base is slight.

“The RTS genre, on any platform, is nowhere near as big as the FPS or action-adventure genres and major publishers are increasingly focused on trying to make blockbuster games,” he says.

“So EndWar can simultaneously be one of the top five selling RTS games of the past five years and have disappointing sales compared to other Clancy releases like Rainbow 6.”

Given the facts, then, RTS’s sales failure is merely relative, and Halo Wars’ top billing suggests the genre actually has worked on consoles but has been a victim of the current hit-driven publishing climate. Both Ubisoft and developer Eugen clearly agree, as they’re working towards the release of RUSE, a big budget PC and console RTS launching in Ubi’s FY ’11. Why take the risk with consoles? Simple, they say: aesthetically, at least, console RTS can work.

“Strategy is universal,” says Eugen’s Mathieu Girard. “You can be a strategist when playing poker and chess, conducting business or managing projects.

“With RUSE, there is a great opportunity to bring the experience of being a general, and it works both on PC and on consoles. Being a strategist can be summarized in a few points: assess a situation, build a plan on the long run, solve present tactical problems, and anticipate what your opponent is doing. No need for 200 keyboard shortcuts to do all that.”

RUSE uses a hot-point system to pre-select the nearest friendly unit, and also pre-fetches the nearest enemy unit or destination when the player selects an order target.

“These choices make the need of mouse-pointing and screen-scrolling obsolete for the console,” adds Girard.

Brick up the Jolly Roger

The other RTS-is-dead Great Truth is that PC-only strategy games are so battered by piracy they never stand a chance. Piracy is never a black and white issue, and there have certainly been some shocking examples of PC RTS titles taking one for the team in recent years, the “team” being the unending legions of global leechers.

A high profile case was Stardock’s Demigod. Released in April last year, the other-worldy RTS was pirated over 5:1 in its opening week, with more than 120,000 trying to play the game online off the back of just 18,000 sales.

As realisation there was little hope of a clean outcome for the project dawned, Stardock boss Brad Wardell issued an outburst on the matter, saying “piracy pisses me off” and calling anyone playing hooky versions to “accept that you’re a thief”.

Bluntly, though, the absolute notion that piracy is killing PC RTS is false. Stardock itself enjoyed sensational success with the Ironclad’s Sins of a Solar Empire, moving over 500,000 units off the back of a $1 million dev budget, with Wardell at the time claiming piracy wasn’t the main issue surrounding the success of PC games in general.

“Blaming piracy is easy,” he said, “but it hides other underlying causes. When Sins popped up as the #1 best selling game at retail a couple weeks ago, a game that has no copy protect whatsoever, that should tell you that piracy is not the primary issue.

“In the end, the pirates hurt themselves. PC game developers will either slowly migrate to making games that cater to the people who buy PC games or they’ll move to platforms where people are more inclined to buy games.”

It’s doubtful Wardell’s words were intentionally prophetic, as the mention of “platforms” there relates to hardware. Creative Assembly has remained at the forefront of desktop RTS work for many years, so much so that Sega bought the company in 2005. CA admits there’s a piracy problem with its games but has found an able “platform” solution in dissuading the torrents: Valve’s Steam.

“We were really pleased by both the critical and commercial success of Empire: Total War,” says CA’s O’Connell. “All games suffer from piracy to some degree, but since implementing Steam we have certainly made it more difficult for pirates.”

The benefits of using Steam for RTS delivery – or any other PC game distribution, for that matter – don’t just stop at piracy, either.

It’s “a single delivery system for content and updates,” O’Connell adds, “meaning that they are always playing the latest version of the game without having to hunt around the web for content. The platform also offers great online and multiplayer functionality.”

The notion that closed garden systems are essential to robust RTS businesses isn’t confined to Creative Assembly and Valve. Blizzard is so entrenched in the idea, in fact, that it’s refusing to launch StarCraft II, a six-year project, until the “new” Battle.net is ready and will make it impossible to play the game online anywhere else. You won’t even be able to play StarCraft II offline without a Battle.net account, and LAN functionality’s been stripped out. The Californian super-developer has constantly pushed the player benefits of this approach, but a key driver is, very obviously, piracy. No Battle.net, no next-gen Blizzard RTS.

This is a good thing, assuming you’re an RTS fan. There is a next-gen Blizzard RTS, one that’s cost a huge amount of money to make and will almost certainly last for many years. For de Plater, the answer of the question of a way forward for RTS is simple: StarCraft II is the immediate future of the genre in itself.

“For the next two years, and maybe longer, [RTS] is going to be defined by Starcraft II,” he says.

Issue orders: move out

As StarCraft II gears up for launch and RTS attempts to tackle its future, the genre must deal with its past. What exactly is the problem?

It’s simple: RTS is a relatively niche category that can flourish behind the protection of walled gardens on PCs, and must accept that it’ll only work well in the “traditional” publishing model in exceptional circumstances, as in the case of Halo Wars.

De Plater agrees on the subject of nontraditional publishing.

“There are so many ways to get games published and distributed now that there seem to be lots of exciting opportunities outside of traditional publishing,” he says.

“Fat Princess uses a lot of RTS conventions and is directly distributed on PSN. [A] friend of mine from my Total War days, Bob Smith, just developed a space conquest game called Armada 2526 almost completely independently and released it online, and Brian Reynolds who is a legend, just joined Zynga to work on Facebook strategy games. There are more possibilities than ever.”

All of which is great, as once publishers and developers circumnavigate the issues that have been castrating the genre recently, they can move onto the important stuff: the games themselves.

Trends in RTS design are genuinely exciting.

De Plater believes that “convergence with RPG, just like almost every other genre” will mark an ongoing route of success for RTS in general.

Eugen’s Girard agrees that genre convergence is part of RTS’s future.

“I currently see two trends: a strategy trend, which RUSE expands and explores, and an action trend, limited in the number of units and the depth of their controls,” he says.

This convergence was exhibited most ably recently by Relic’s Dawn of War II, where the straight base- and army-building of the original was swapped out for RPG-like hero elements and the control of small amounts of units as opposed to hundreds.

And if number-crunching’s not your thing, then online battling may well come to be. Creative Assembly certainly thinks so.

“Multiplayer is becoming increasingly popular so I think we will see more titles introducing exciting new online features,” says O’Connell.

“Our next title, Napoleon: Total War, features three multiplayer campaigns, in addition to drop-in battles so that online players can drop into your single player game to create a massively varied Total War experience. This is in addition to our trademark land and naval battles for up to eight players.”

Then, of course, there’s the question of console RTS. There’s still a way to go, but Eugen believes it can crack the puzzle with RUSE.

“I think so, yes,” says Girard when we ask if RUSE is the title that’ll make pad-based strategy truly acceptable, citing “the accessibility of the single player campaign, its fun and experience,” as well as the aforementioned hot-point controls.

“We have also lots of skirmishes and challenges to encourage shy players to try the multiplayer component,” he adds.

De Plater is still waiting for console’s true RTS epiphany, calling it a “KOTOR moment, a real built from the ground up RTS for console that doesn’t compromise on all the elements that make the genre great.

“I really think that both Halo Wars and EndWar point to the future in terms of having solved many of the control issues that were a barrier, and if we address the criticisms with regard to the depth of the game systems the sequels to both of them could be fantastic. I think that, for example, Dawn of War II, with EndWar’s camera and controls, would be a brilliant game with very few modifications to the game system.”

The future’s bright; just cut out the cocktails

It seems obvious, then, that there isn’t just one way forward for RTS, but many, on many platforms and in many guises. We’re going to see convergence and multiplay take on increasing importance in the genre, and “the” groundbreaking console game could be merely a release away.

The promise for a great future is there, but only if those creating and selling games accept that RTS’s audience is relatively small compared to other genres, and devise their products accordingly.

Keep betting black, Mr RTS. Just go easy on the stakes and rein in the liquor.

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40 Comments

  1. mington

    i think there is a future for RTS lite on the ipad, and now i’ll read the article

    #1 5 years ago
  2. ShiroGamer

    Red Alert 3 not 2
    reading now :D

    #2 5 years ago
  3. Patrick Garratt

    f/p

    #3 5 years ago
  4. sennasnit

    too long, someone please summarise.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. ShiroGamer

    Nice article,combining both good ED and quotes
    which is nice to see on VG

    more points from me ,Pat

    keep it up ,more often please

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Bulk Slash

    The problem with RTS is it’s too uninvolved for the average gamer. They want to be down in the action, not clicking on it from a mile up in the sky (and I say this as someone who loves the genre). The other problem is that you can invest 15-25 minutes in a mission and have to start from the beginning because you picked the wrong strategy. Gamers these days don’t have the patience for that much repetition.

    I think the only way for the genre to survive is if someone can make it more immediate and more casual friendly, the same way Mass Effect 2 hacked off the deeper RPG elements. Whether the resulting game would still count as an RTS I don’t know. The whole point of RTS is supposed to be like chess, outmanoeuvring your opponent with the right strategies, but that’s not what the modern gamer is looking for.

    #6 5 years ago
  7. The Benny

    That was a very good read. Nicely done, Pat.

    A “KOTOR moment” definitely sounds like something the RTS genre needs, embracing the control system of consoles and breaking into the mainstream. As it stands they do well within their niche but can’t seem to break out of it.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. spelk

    No mention of the RTS game elements stealthed out to the gaming public in Brutal Legend? Admittedly, an updated sort of Sacrifice mechanic.

    If SEGA hadn’t slit the games throat, Stormrise could’ve become something much better and special.

    Some novel RTS developments in the indie scene also, such as AI War: Fleet Command.

    Is Plants vs Zombies considered to be Real Time Strategy?

    #8 5 years ago
  9. blackdreamhunk

    lets see now empire total war sold more games than kill zone 2. The reason game devs are trashing on rts is is because mircosft and sony knows that rts on consoles suck. Just like alot of genres suck on consoles.

    maybe mainstream media might want to talk about console pircay too. Oh wait mainstream meida is full of lairs!!!

    as for pircay on consoles it’s going to go up

    http://copyps3gamesguide.blogspot.com/

    just like the ps3 was never ever pirated what a joke.

    they way main stream media lies about pc gaming I would not trust them. We all know microsoft and sony are paying and tell people what to do, It’s kinda like climate gate.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/p-j-gladnick/2009/11/24/climategate-msm-writers-try-ignore-scandal-global-warming-stories-read

    it makes wonder what else mainstream media will lie about

    #9 5 years ago
  10. mington

    the voices LIE!!!!

    #10 5 years ago
  11. blackdreamhunk

    I have found gamespot,videogamer,edge online,bithech and few other gaming sites to big lairs

    http://kotaku.com/328244/gamespot-editor-fired-over-kane–lynch-review

    they like to surpress the truth and ban people who peak the truth.

    one of those sites aprove of dictorships too,

    #11 5 years ago
  12. mington

    are you like that guy from crank, if you’re not angry 24/7 your heart will stop?

    #12 5 years ago
  13. RGW1982

    RTS Games Suck Bad

    #13 5 years ago
  14. blackdreamhunk

    I find that vg247 and Ign support freedom of speech and not a dictorship that sony and microsoft seems to have over the Industry.

    by the way I would trust ng4 either

    #14 5 years ago
  15. blackdreamhunk

    rts is much bigger money maker than fps. The only reason rts is not getting any love is because rts really show how good them consoles really are for gaming, just like flight sims console sucks for real games!

    It also another reason alot of pc gamers don’t like consoles.

    I’m a genre jumper, I like to try everything I’m also a deep thinker.I think so much sometimes I can’t sleep at night. It’s the reason I play pc games it slows down my mind

    #15 5 years ago
  16. Michael O’Connor

    More of these Pat. I approve.

    I don’t think the RTS genre is in any danger of going anyway. I just think they really, really need to stop trying to make them work on consoles. It’s simply not going to unless mouses become standard.

    The eventual release of Starcraft 2 will likely go a long way to prove that the RTS genre has nothing to fear for itself.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. mington

    i don’t know, C&C on my Saturn was a blast

    #17 5 years ago
  18. RGW1982

    @ 9

    You Do Realise That It Costs More To Pirate PS3 Games Then To Buy Them For $60 New From The Store, Not That You’d Wanna Waste A 50 GB Blank Blu-Ray Disc On A 5 GB Game.

    Even Still, The System Hasn’t Been Modded & Won’t Play Them Anyways, The Guy That Hacked The PS3 Hacked FW Version 2.42, The Hack Won’t Work On Current FW Version 3.15.. So Unless You Got FW Version 2.42 & Want To Only Play Offline That Hack Is Useless.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. blackdreamhunk

    all this is going to do is increase hate between console gamers and pc gamers.

    the resluts will be trashing of media,more hackec console,more pircay and more hate.more hate towards publisher,game devs, microsoft and sony will grow.

    pc gamers made up of mad thinkers,modders,hackers are very smart people. The internet and being online is our world your playing it.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. blackdreamhunk

    yea them ps3′s has never ever been pirated

    http://torrentz.com/search?q=PS3+GAME

    what a joke, what ever mainstream media wants you to beleave huh!

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Gekidami

    The only thing that makes people hate PC gamers is you BDH.

    You can rip a PS3 ISO, cant actually play them though.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. RGW1982

    You’re An Idiot, I’ve Seen PS3 Games On Torrents Since The PS3 Came Out, NONE WORK Though… Get Off The Crack.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. blackdreamhunk

    oh really i think the gaming media, epic games,ind software, infinty ward, lucars arts was doing a fine job pissing off pc gamers long before I came.

    I know there is pirated ps3 games I know this because yes i know hackers

    sorry I wouldn’t know I don’t play console garbage!

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Len

    Is it wrong to admit missing BDH…? ;)

    Where have you been son…?

    #24 5 years ago
  25. dirigiblebill

    Great, elegant article, thanks for that. I’d love to see EndWar’s voice comm tech replicated by other developers, personally.

    Might be worth setting aside a separate tabbed feed for in-house content, a la EG’s “coming soon” and “out now” sections.

    #25 5 years ago
  26. blackdreamhunk

    trying to enjoy life and being thankful everything I have. I was always here just in the shadows watching.

    thebread and butter of pc gaming is as follows space sims. fps, rts,rtt and mmo’s

    #26 5 years ago
  27. DeSpiritusBellum

    Any supposed failure of the RTS genre is never going to be down the medium itself, but rather developers getting too comfortable and regurgitating eachothers work in an endless cycle, expecting the gaming piggies to eat whatever they’re thrown. That ploy hasn’t lead the industry anywhere, and it never will.

    I think there are plenty of examples of what can be done with the genre. Supreme Commander looks at a vaguely realistic composition of armies that I find fascinating as a martial geek, whereas games like Command and Conquer where you basically only have to click the same two places on the screen repeatedly to win, makes me want to drive a Mammoth tank through the developers offices for being so mindnumbingly unambitious.

    The thing that makes me wonder is the complete absence of even vaguely authentic tactics in any wargame – RTS or otherwise – today. When I was a kid, we were thrilled every time we got our hands on one of the new tactical games out there, from X-Com to the real Rainbow Six games. That’s not to say that it’s the only way to go for RTS, take Warcraft 3 as a case and point, but it boggles my mind that no major developer even tries to tap into the shocking lack of tactical games. For me at least, those were some of the most rewarding games I ever played.

    #27 5 years ago
  28. Michael O’Connor

    Ignore BDH and he won’t have anything to respond to. It’s really easy.

    #28 5 years ago
  29. blackdreamhunk

    one thing i love about the internet when you speak the whole world hears and people can then make their own judgement.

    It’s why I like to do things out in the open on the net.

    #29 5 years ago
  30. Michael O’Connor

    So, who thinks Starcraft 2 will help shake up the attention of this genre in the near future? It’s very much become a niche over the years.

    #30 5 years ago
  31. Gekidami

    SC2 will probably do well, its got pedigree after all. Not sure it’ll actually help the genre though, it’ll no doubt do its own little number with other RTS’ pretty much remaining in the same state after it.
    The only other RTS that’ll do well is probably RUSE… Thanks to it being a multiplat.

    #31 5 years ago
  32. blackdreamhunk

    for every blow a 6 winged angles throw at me the more heavin will know my name!some people will never ever see pardise because of them angles!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkWS9PiXekE
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4a6hdxdIbk&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RQm37K-clg&feature=related

    starcraft is huge just like blizzard is huge.

    some countries starcraft is a national game!

    #32 5 years ago
  33. Gheritt White

    An Op Ed! FINALLY!

    #33 5 years ago
  34. Grimrita

    Interesting feature. However, when you compare a stale RTS (C&C series) to the rest of the genre, its easy to see why RTS gaming is seen as ‘dead’.

    Sins of a Solar Empire had its sales success because it was a traditional PC game. It was engaging, deep and had a strong mod community.

    The same is said for Empire:Total War, which managed to hit the all formats number one upon release last year.

    Another RTS great, that was missed out, was the original Dawn of War games. They were superb on and offline. Its a shame the same cant be said for DoW 2 which took out all the good bits from the original, and kept them out.

    I am a HUGE RTS fan and amongst my recent favourites alongside Sins and Empire has to be World in Conflict. That was an epic. Great story play off line and alot of fun online. It brought some new features to the genre and was alot of fun to play.

    Another great was Universe at War. Although it didnt sell – because Sega didnt bother to support it, the game was the first RTS to allow cross platform gaming between the 360 and PC and had 3 superb factions that all played very differently.

    Sega has to becareful. The previous 2 Total War games had shocking AI and we had to wait 6 months for it to be fixed. How such a gaping hole can be left in what is an essential part of game play, confuses me. If Napoleon falls to the same fate, it will be the last Total War I ever buy.

    As for SC2, this will be the same game but in a new frock so to speak, I dont expect anything new or different here. If developers make an engaging experience, the sales WILL come.

    #34 5 years ago
  35. SwiftRanger

    “I think that, for example, Dawn of War II, with EndWar’s camera and controls, would be a brilliant game with very few modifications to the game system.”

    Clearly he only played the singleplayer portion of the game and completely missed what Relic had to say about a possible console port. Saying StarCraft II will define the future of RTS is like saying a Quake II remake by id will do the same for FPS games. If the polishing factor is the one and only defining feature of a game then this industry has failed, polish should be a part of it of course but not the only thing to look out for. We’ll be set back more than 12 years if every RTS developer will suddenly start to make SCII clones with that kind of trigger-finger-happy gameplay.

    With all due respect but I think you didn’t ask enough “worthy” people for an opinion; De Plater’s EndWar ended up being a big meh after all his PC RTS trash talk (try asking him how it even did on PC, with such a budget price at release, was a really nice vote of confidence by Ubisoft), The Creative Assembly proved that despite Steam’s support and easy patching you can still release an utterly broken game (which isn’t even a pure RTS, it’s a turnbased/real-time hybrid with people often spending more time in the turnbased part) and RUSE sounds more like a cardgame than anything else although it gets the benefit of the doubt for now. These folks are worth listening to for various reasons but not if you’re talking about the success of true RTS games of the past few years. Where is Relic, GPG, Massive, EALA, the ex-Ensemble peeps? Those were just as much leaders in terms of critical acclaim, innovation and/or sales.

    Where is the source for games like World in Conflict being unsuccessful and leading to Massive’s “doom”? Just because they were bought by Ubisoft means the game itself wasn’t worthwhile or didn’t bring in decent sales? Never thought it had something to do with the fact Activision couldn’t handle so many studios? Massive were still giving out free maps and huge updates despite talks of their closure/sell-out. Same counts for Ensemble, people are still rightfully baffled by their closure but MS is clearly looking to be only an action game publisher, closing down one of the most successful RTS devs out there doesn’t really come as a surprise if it’s done by a console-centric company.

    I have also my doubts about those RTS sales rankings you’ve gathered, it seems like it’s only based on NPD sales numbers while the majority of (PC) RTS copies are being sold in mainland Europe. SupCom did one million after a year according to Chris Taylor and that is for one of the most hardcore yet most innovative strategy games of recent times. Even repackaged tosh like C&C3 still did well enough.

    On that note I’d like to add it’s a bit odd to bring out an article like this, which judges the fundamentals of an entire genre, just one month before some super-releases (SupCom 2, C&C 4, DoW II: Chaos Rising) will make their way onto the market. Why? Because console folks only got Halo Wars and some half-assed RTS ports over the years? I have respect for developers trying to get the console audience on board as well but they shouldn’t act like the past years have done nothing for the genre (hello, De Plater). It’s like saying games like Dark Reign, TA, Warzone 2100, Homeworld, Battle Realms, Original War and Battlezone never even existed. Broaden those RTS horizons folks, if you make StarCraft II look like the only thing worth watching then it’s not a big surprise so few casual gamers aren’t interested in these kind of games anymore.

    #35 5 years ago
  36. Patrick Garratt

    @35 Great comment, and yes, I wish I’d had access to more people. Blizzard OK’d some questions, but I was warned it’d be a long turnaround and so I’m doing something separate on StarCraft II.

    I’m going to check with THQ on the SupCom figures.

    #36 5 years ago
  37. Killerbee

    Great article. Good to see this sort of thing on VG247, Pat, keep it up!

    The RTS genre is definitely an odd one, and certainly from my own experience it’s one that’s felt very much in decline over the past few years.

    I was a big fan of the PC RTS back in the days of the original Red Alert, Age of Empires and Age of Kings, peaking with Warcraft III. Since then I’ve only very occasionally dipped into RTS with Dawn of War II (nearly great – just needed more variety to the mission types) and EndWar on the PS3 (same really – too many samey missions and a weak single player campaign, but I never got into online which is maybe a shame) being the only titles I’ve bought of late.

    On the console connection, EndWar’s voice control was remarkably well done and smoothly implemented. It certainly meant that the controls were never the issue with the game. Contrast RTS with just about any other genre, though and I think it’s the fact that RTS has relied too much on throwing the gamer into an environment and letting them get on with their base and army building, rather than the more usual approach in other genres of making something a lot more structured. Even the most traditional FPS will spice things up with missions focussed on stealth, escort, defend, attack, vehicles, capture a target, assassination and so on and so on and that’s exactly what RTS needs – some sense of imaginitive design injecting variety into the gameplay by imposing certain rules and restrictions of the game.

    RTS has a lot to offer and I am looking forward to Starcraft II – here’s hoping it’s a good one.

    #37 5 years ago
  38. Grimrita

    @ 35.
    here here! As I mentioned before, Universe at War was well thought out as a console game – they developed a new way to control units and, for the first time, allowed PC and 360 players to compete online.

    However, those words ‘Games for Windows Live’ killed that off within days.

    World in Conflict sits in my top 5 RTS games of all time and shows that if developers actually treat the genre as a PC only genre to start with (yes a console version came out much later), PC gamers will make that all important purchase.

    I still get hours of play out of Empire:Total War but I am worried that Sega is damaging the brand with its unfinished AI from its last two outtings.

    Endwar looked great but tried to copy World in Conflict in a half baked effort and was clearly a console port – which equals no sale in my book.

    Sooner or later the industry is going to become stuck because creativity, or lack of, will hit sales (on all formats)

    #38 5 years ago
  39. blackdreamhunk

    here take very good look at this list you can still find space sims rtt and rts games on pc.

    http://adrianwerner.wordpress.com/about/

    all a genre really needs is a creative game dev to reavilise the genre

    man there is a lot of noobs in the industry

    #39 5 years ago
  40. SwiftRanger

    “I’m going to check with THQ on the SupCom figures.”

    Well, thx for trying to do that and everything else. :) It wouldn’t be the first time Chris Taylor exaggerated with something of course.

    #40 5 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Destiny developer Bungie won’t stop tinkering with Exotic weapons. In Destiny, Exotic weapons are supposed to be the best of the best – and to feel unique. Guns like Ice Breaker and Gjallahorn definitely hit the mark there (although less so when everyone has one), but unfortunately, there are a few that just don’t strike […]

  • Is Uncharted 4′s first trailer a tribute to Crash Bandicoot?

    Uncharted 4′s first proper trailer bears some remarkable similarities to the opening moments of a much earlier Naughty Dog game. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End has more in common with Crash Bandicoot than you might think. It’s Naughty Dog’s first game on a new console, yes – but if you compare Uncharted 4′s E3 2014 […]

  • Sonic console games will continue, says Iizuka

    Sonic Team leader Takashi Iizuka has said there are no plans to stop making Sonic games. Sonic hasn’t retired from the ranks just yet. “Please rest assured, I personally have no plans to stop making Sonic games for home consoles,” Iizuka told 4Gamer [Japanese]. The comment arose after the site asked if Sonic would become […]

  • Stealth Inc. 2 coming to PSN, apparently

    Stealth Inc. 2: A Game of Clones will soon be available on PlayStation platforms, if a trophy list is to be believed. Stealth Inc. 2 initially launched as a Wii U exclusive, disappointing fans of Curve Studios’ tough action game. We’ve heard nothing to contradict this, but Exophase, a generally reliable source, has dug up […]

  • Runescape developer has an “undisclosed MMO” in the works

    Runescape developer Jagex is working on something new. According to Jagex’s careers page, the developer has a new, unannounced game in the works. Its advertisement for a lead programmer makes explicit mention of an “undisclosed MMO”. The ad mentions the new title is in “the preliminary stages of redefining the cross platform MMORPG genre” and […]

  • Destiny PvP rewards system to be addressed

    Destiny developer Bungie has said it will change the way Crucible rewards work. Destiny players are always complaining about the perfidy of RNGesus, but there’s one area where it particularly hurts: the Crucible. PvP players often receive nothing at all for excellent performances, and sometimes Guardians receive the best drops merely for logging in as […]