Tuesday 3 November 2009

Command & Conquer Red Alert for iPhone

EA Mobile is at the forefront of releasing established game franchises, both from its own in-house studios and third-party properties, with varying degrees of success, on the App Store.

From The Sims 3 to Rock Band and Madden NFL 10 to FIFA 10, the App Store is rapidly becoming the online shopping destination of choice for mobile gamers everywhere! Competitors can't compete with Apple's vertical integration.

Command & Conquer Red Alert (iTunes) is the latest edition to that enviable collection. Suffice to say that I've been looking forward to the arrival of Command & Conquer, for iPhone and iPod touch, since it was announced months ago! The real-time strategy (RTS) genre has been woefully underrepresented on the App Store! However, I'm reluctant to download the game in its current form!

Why? Because a stellar 3D presentation and control method do not, in and of themselves, yield longevity! There's no wireless multiplayer (a future update will add this) and, perhaps most cynically, the skeletal selection of included maps can be increased at additional cost! Given that the Command & Conquer franchise is known for its copious free maps and multiplay, EA Mobile's decision is surprising and appears fiscally motivated.

Ultimately Command & Conquer Red Alert could be construed as a half-baked attempt to nickel and dime early adopters! I'll wait for the price to drop, from £5.99, before revisiting this anticipated release and forthcoming Empire of the Rising Sun expansion pack.

Are in-app purchases adding value or simply a revenue stream for publishers?

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