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Money Talks: With EA Tobster

Hello Everyone,

I’m EA Tobster, the monetization manager for Command & Conquer.  I’ve been a lifelong C&C fan, having played every single entry in the series.  I started out working for a League of well-known Legends along with MsMoneypenny and now that both of us are here at EA, we hope to leverage our experiences to contribute to the success of Command & Conquer.

Today I’d like to talk about how purchasing works in Command & Conquer.  Right off the bat I want to directly address one of your biggest concerns and say that this game is NOT pay to win.  In practice, this means that every item that directly affects your ability to beat another player in a match will be accessible by simply playing the game.

SO HOW DO I UNLOCK CONTENT?

This seems like a good opportunity to introduce the two types of currency in Command & Conquer:

  • Victory Points, or VP, is purchased using real currency (Dollars, Euros…etc.).

  • Command Points, or CP, is earned by playing and completing games.


Some items are only purchasable with one type of currency, while others can be bought using either.  Items that are only purchasable with CP are the items that have a heavy effect on gameplay, such as Perks (more below).  Items that are available for VP typically involve vanity, customization, or convenience.

With that being said, I want to reiterate that there’s no requirement to pay for anything in Command & Conquer!  Any investment you decide to make in C&C will go toward funding more and better content for the game.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE ALPHA

For us, the most exciting part is watching (metaphorically) all of you interact with this system.  In the same way that we test gameplay, balance, server capacity, and other aspects of our live service, we will be collecting user data and fan feedback to adapt our store offerings in order to provide the greatest experience possible to you.  MsMoneypenny and I will work hand-in-hand with our designers to translate your feedback into cool features that add fun to the game without unbalancing gameplay.  Your feedback has never been more important.  Now let’s dive into what we are currently offering!

 Generals

  • Generals are obviously a key part of our game and will therefore be prevalent in every aspect of a player’s interaction.  We are currently planning for Generals to be a highlighted portion of our store obtainable through both CP and VP.  Instead of providing direct gameplay advantages, Generals offer different/unique ways to play the game based on their personality and faction.


Perks

  • Perks are our gameplay affecting items.  These are obtainable with Command Points which requires players to actually play the game to earn (who knew)!  Since these items affect strength, health, and other attributes, they will be a major area of testing for us to ensure we don’t break our own game.


Premium

  • This is a timed service we provide for players that want to decrease the time it takes to get to the competitive stages of Command & Conquer and/or want a deeper more customized play experience.  Some of the features that you will have access to with Premium Membership include an increase to CP and XP gain, advanced game modes filtering, and additional custom game options.  You will be able to purchase Premium in a wide variety of packages, from 1-3 days for an intense weekend of gaming to several months for players that want to play every day.


During our testing period, you can expect pricing to fluctuate and/or for accounts to periodically reset while we try to optimize the final experience.  Rest assured that once we go into open beta, we will be diligent in our efforts to track and compensate our players so they are not unfairly cheated by these changes.

Whew, I’m running out of gas so that about does it.  Today is a very thrilling day for me as we are finally getting to the point where we can share our work with you.  It’s exciting, frightening, and everything in between.

See you in game!

EA Tobster
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