What is it with online & RTS

So EA cancelled their Command & Conquer f2p client based online game and closed the Studio Victory Games.


What is it with RTS that makes them so hard to do persistent online? We got online fps, RPG, racing sports, everything but RTS somehow never manages to surface on the online games market. Many have tried and failed and EA just joined them recently. I don't blame them, maybe they just didn't know they tried to create something where everyone else has failed so far.

Don't mix up RTS online game play like Starcraft II has and persistent online gaming. Those two can live together but as I said it hasn't been done before. So either the target audience for RTS loves the twitch game play of Starcraft and that's it, or we totally miss the point when trying to do persistent online games using RTS mechanics.

What is it? Any ideas?

Just as a statement I don't like Starcraft, its too fast for me, I more like the slower paced C&C series which unfortunately died the EA death.


  1. The issue is pretty obvious. RTS games are about two players with "equal" or "equal but incongruent" sides, starting from scratch and battling it out in an economic, tactical, and strategic fight to the last man.

    The issue with persistence, is that if you give advantages or disadvantages to one player or another, the match is unfair, and the traditional RTS player wants nothing to do with that.

    On the other hand, if you don't give some advantages/disadvantages to players who win their matches, what's the point of it being "persistent?"

    The hybrid attempts so far have failed, where they package the persistence in an overhead map or via some other channel, because eventually you have to reset that, at which point it's not really persistent anymore. >_<

  2. I`d say as bad as it sounds, rts are the most complex games we got so far and adding persistance and more players only increases the complexity A LOT. So if you try and include everything, you will highly likely fail. And if you strip features, your audience might be disappointed.

    My best guess would be to start small (maybe squad based without bases you have to defend) and/or coop only.

    BUT first I`d try a turn based persistant strategy game with units moving over a map like in panzer general. That`s something still missing too and a way smaller step.