Electronic Arts kicked off this year's iteration of Los Angeles-based E3 with the announcement of Command & Conquer: Rivals, a spin-off title based on the company's long-running real-time strategy franchise. The game is envisioned as a free-to-play experience supported by in-app purchases, similar to EA's mobile reboot of Dungeon Keeper from several years back. Much like its name implies, Command & Conquer: Rivals will center on PvP gameplay, tasking players with seizing and holding control of missile launch pads and leveraging them to destroy enemy bases. EA will be bringing the RTS to both Android and iOS, though only those involved in Google's mobile ecosystem will be able to participate in its pre-alpha testing phase set to take place this summer.
The pre-alpha program will run for several weeks in the United States and Canada, with anyone interested in taking part of it being able to pre-registrate their interest in doing so by referring to the Google Play Store banner below. EA will be inviting applicants on its own, presumably in stages. Commanders will be an important part of strategizing in Command & Conquer: Rivals, with every one of them coming with unique abilities, strengths, and shortcomings that you'll be expected to use to your advantage or exploit. Army customization will also be part of the package, together with light RPG elements, i.e. the ability to upgrade units. While a single-player component will be on offer, the bulk of the game revolves around multiplayer and real-time battles, according to EA. As a result, Command & Conquer: Rivals will require an always-on Internet connection.
The mobile game still doesn't have a firm release date attached to it and it remains to be seen whether EA is planning further semi-public testing following the initial pre-alpha. This year's E3 also saw the announcement of another Android spin-off based on a popular franchise, with Bethesda just announcing The Elder Scrolls: Blades.