Electronic Arts, the company responsible for destroying Westwood Studios, is yet another example of capitalism controlling creativity in order to prioritise destined profits above all other imaginative concerns. The company is so rich you’d expect them to give their most imaginative development team some free reign, but this is of course too much to ask. EA bought Westwood for the popular Command and Conquer name, only, it seems.
I recently read an interview with Eric Gooch, the guy who played the role of Seth in the original Command and Conquer. You remember Seth right? He was the guy who had his brains blown out of the side of his head by Kane right before our very eyes in the Brotherhood of Nod campaign. Anyway, he went on to describe how EA had discontinued the Command and Conquer games set in a world infested by a rapidly growing form of poisonous plantlife called Tiberium. Despite the fact Tiberian Sun (yes, the name was changed from Tiberium Sun to Tiberian Sun by EA for whatever reason) sold over a million copies and actually had a riveting continuous story, the series was put on permenant hold in favour of more juvenile real time strategy C&C games. Eric Gooch went onto describe how EA canceled the sequel to C&C Renegade for no apparent reason (a first person shooter set in the same world originally envision by Westwood Studios). When asked how he would summarise EA, as a company, he said it was “a large company”, leaving the rest up to our imagination.
On the lighter side of things, a sequel to Tiberian Sun (which was the direct sequel to the first Command and Conquer) called Tiberium Twilight was heavily rumoured to have been in the works before the release of Tiberian Sun. EA (“challenge everything”) has since put the game on the back burner.
The original Command and Conquer story always fascinated me, especially when the prequel, C&C Red Alert, was released. Kane, the leader of the Brotherhood of Nod in Command and Conquer, was present in Red Alert even though the game took place some 30 years earlier in the series timeline. He manipulated the events of the time before he rose to prominence in Command and Conquer, looking no older! Of course, we later learn he had he reverse engineered the technology found in an alien ship that had crash landed on Earth before the Tiberium infestation began (Tiberium was his discovery too, naming it after a Roman named Tiberius).
I could write about the story forever but I’ll spare you for now.
Btw, if anyone’s wondering how Kane survived the ending in the Saturn and Playstation versions of Command and Conquer, know that the ending was changed. Kane was crushed beneath a pile of falling debris in the PC game, not vaporised by an Ion Cannon. His return in Tiberian Sun was nothing short of epic and if Nod defeats the forces of the Global Defense Initiative (what’s left of the United States and her allies) he converts the entire planet into a sphere of pure Tiberium by lanching a Tiberium enriched ICBM into orbit. And thus, evolving humanity to the next level.
Wonderful storyline. The Panzer Dragoon world could do with an evil genius like Kane.
If you’ve never heard of the Command and Conquer series before Red Alert 2 (a game not developed by the original Westwood Studios), I’d like to know if EA’s greed-driven presence has been felt anywhere else.