Robot: RTS can "still be a big genre," PC retail market not there for it any more
Posted: 19.04.2012 12:32 by Simon Priest Comments: 12
Robot Entertainment is made up of former Ensemble veterans with Age of Empires to their name. Patrick Hudson of the studio still believes real-time strategy can be big business.

He admits though it's "changing a lot," and he's not sure where "it's going to go." The days of selling millions of copies at "50 or 60 bucks as a PC game" are gone; PC retail not there.

However he's interested in watching the likes of Steam being able to peddle RTS to PC gamers, and to considerable success. The genre will never disappear.

"I think it can still be a big genre, but it’s changing a lot. I don’t necessarily know where it’s going to go. There were some really big franchises that were huge that you could count on with StarCraft and WarCraft and Age of Empires and Command & Conquer," described Patrick Hudson in an interview.

"They were massive and when they would come out they’d sell millions of units at 50 or 60 bucks as a PC game. There isn’t that market any more for PC retail. But, you know, it’s fun to watch the charts on Steam. There are some RTSs that pop up and do quite well. I think you’re seeing the RTS genre bleed into other platforms as well."

"C&C has their browser game they just came up with. Some of us here are playing that beta and enjoying it. It’s interesting to see how the RTS genre is reimagining itself. You’re seeing some strategy plays on mobile and things like that. It’s different from what it was, but I don’t think the genre quite ever goes away. There are too many people that enjoy that gaming experience," he added.

StarCraft II was released by Blizzard in July 2010 and received critical praise for staying faithful to its RTS roots while still managing to embrace modern expectations. EA has announced that BioWare Victory is handling Command & Conquer: Generals 2, powered by DICE's Frostbite 2 engine.

Other successful RTS ventures in recent years have been THQ and Relic's Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War, and of course the veteran PC series Total War from Creative Assembly. Robot Entertainment's latest release has been Orcs Must Die! which combines tower defence and action gaming.

Check out the full interview between Patrick Hudson and Game Informer.

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By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Apr 19, 2012
You could try, you know, actually MAKING games that are worth spending that kind of money on. Instead of dribble like AoE 3 or C&C 4.
By djole381 (SI Elite) on Apr 19, 2012
Now that I think about it, I can't remember when was the last time a good RTS was released.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Apr 19, 2012
I'm trying here, but neither can I.
By danfreeman (SI Elite) on Apr 19, 2012
C`mon guys you forgot about Starcraft 2 and... that`s about it really.I still remember when C&C4 came out and how people were talking about whether it will change the way the RTS genre works.Welp they got their answer in a way that is similar as to what the chinese zookeeper said to the last male panda in the world:F**K THAT.
By djole381 (SI Elite) on Apr 19, 2012
Starcraft 2 is ancient history for me. I only played the campaign and that's it. I want something new and refreshing, something that's not going to disappear from my memory after a few months like SC2 did.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Apr 19, 2012
By lichlord (SI Core) on Apr 20, 2012
games like red alert 2 and the old C&C series back from the time of westwood did very good and are being kept alive by communities just check modb for example on C&C Tiberium sun.
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Apr 20, 2012
Thank god for the cnc4 beta, thanks to that I managed to avoid buying the game, unlike the Red Alert 3.
SC2 is good but I don't like its multiplayer, people are timing things to a second there, simply too hardcore for me.
Warhammer and similar games (Men of war, Wargame: European Escalation) are tactics games and not RTS and the last Warcraft was released ages ago. The last Supreme commander 2 was a bit off too.

The RTS genre really is in a bit of trouble, I hope the new Generals will be a proper cnc game, i don't want to see it fail.
By SirRoderick (SI Elite) on Apr 20, 2012
Wargame: European Escalation, that's the one good NEW strategy game I can think of really, and it's really only borderline RTS.
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on Apr 20, 2012
I agree - Dawn of War 2 franchise and StarCraft 2 were the latest ones - and neither, IMHO, came close to the original titles.
Many new titles feels like dumbed down with fancier graphics but the watered down content just don't keep you that interested for long in a title anymore.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Apr 21, 2012
'Wargame: European Escalation" isn't a true RTS, but a bloody hard, ruthless and unforgiving RTT with base-building elements (as you say Roderick). Still it fits the parametres closely enough to be considered the latest, while "Naval War Arctic Circle" can as a stretch.
The new major mods for many of the older games, like "C&C3 -A New Experience" and the Major Overhaul Mods for "Star Wars: Empire at War" almost a new game make as well.
What about "Hegemony Gold: Wars of Ancient Greece" and the forthcoming "Hegemony: Rome"?
By nocutius (SI Elite) on Apr 21, 2012
Thanks for reminding me abut the mods for RA3, there's a very nice RA1 mod, unfortunately they won't be remaking the campaign since that would be too much work.