The RTS genre is primed to go massive, according to Relic's Greg Wilson, but has to shake its control foibles first.
Speaking to MCV Pacific, the Company of Heroes 2 producer said it's "very possible" RTS could become as mainstream as shooters.
"People love playing that kind of game. I think the success of Starcraft II (or really even Starcraft I) shows us that it’s possible for these kind of games to take off and be exposed to a broad market type of consumer," he said.
"And I think that with the new advances in technology (all these touch-devices on slates and tablets that they’re talking about for the new consoles) RTS games will be able to break into that kind of mainstream because it’s really the interface that’s so challenging for people, what with so many buttons to press, left and right clicking, trying to manipulate the camera, multiple units to control, and that’s in addition to all the gameplay elements they need to master."
Wilson said that the general level of complexity in strategy games is confusing enough without the difficulties of keyboard and mouse controls, but that he expects improvement over time.
"I would hope that in the future we can look to bring RTS in general to a broader market. I think the quality of gameplay and the experience is on par with any other type of genre out there. The only thing in our way is that interfaces, so as we get better there, we’ll reach more people," he concluded.
Company of Heroes 2 was announced earlier this month; we had a look at it and liked what we saw.