Posted by Admin, 24 Feb 2011
EA Starts New Strategy Studio: Victory Games
Eric, Global C&C Community Manager, interviews Jon Van Caneghem, Vice President Strategy Games. Jon joined Electronic Arts in 2009 after nearly three decades in the electronic entertainment industry. He is renowned for founding New World Computing and creating the best-selling franchises Heroes and Might & Magic.
Eric: I am here with Jon Van Caneghem, the GM of Victory Games. Today you announced the name of your new studio as Victory Games – can you talk about what that means?
JVC: Sure. Victory Games was created to be the focal point for the creation of strategy games for the Games Label at EA. Our current focus is making a AAA Command & Conquer game, which I am very excited to be working on. I’ve always been a big Command & Conquer fan.
Eric: A new Command & Conquer game? What can you tell me about it?
JVC: I can tell you it’s a Command & Conquer game for the PC, but we’re not yet at a stage where I can go into any details—we’ll be prepared to make a more formal announcement later in the year. We’re not just working on a game, though. Our general focus is on the future of Command & Conquer. That means updating a lot of the core technology to create a stable base for future development, and leveraging that work on this first game.
Eric: Sounds like you’re very busy, and I’m looking forward to that announcement. Back to the studio, why “Victory Games?”
JVC: The initial idea came from the obvious parallel of winning in a strategy game, where the word “Victory” often ends up on your screen. The reason I think it fits so well is when you look at how to be successful in strategy games: it’s the ability to anticipate, plan, and react. This is no different when it comes to the gaming industry – you must anticipate the direction of the genre and marketplace, plan for what the consumers are looking for, and stay nimble enough to react to environmental changes.
Eric: Where is Victory Games located?
JVC: We have offices in Los Angeles, CA; Austin, TX; and Shanghai, China. It almost feels like one location though, as we have video conferencing systems setup 24/7 which offers us a stronger and more personal level of communication between offices.
Eric: You re-launched the Command & Conquer website today – can you talk about that?
JVC: Yes, you will notice a few key upgrades on www.commandandconquer.com today. We’ve got a new look and feel, new and improved forums, and a much cleaner interface. Luckily we’ve hired a talented new community manager to help support all of these initiatives.
Eric: Why thank you! What else can you tell us about the people behind Victory Games?
JVC: We’ve put together a team made up of some of the best talent from previous Command & Conquer games along with a great mix of quality industry veterans. Everyone that we’ve brought on board is very passionate about making strategy games.
Eric: That sounds great. What strategy games do you play?
JVC: I play almost every strategy game that comes out, with the two most recent games being Civilization V and Starcraft 2. I still have all the Command & Conquer and Heroes of Might and Magic games on my machine and play them regularly as well.
Eric: What’s your favorite Command & Conquer memory?
JVC: The original Command & Conquer released the same month as the original Heroes of Might and Magic game that I created at New World Computing. Right after we shipped Heroes, we were hard at work getting a Win95 version ready. We were also starting work on Heroes II, but every day work stopped a little bit earlier and earlier and earlier as everyone was jumping into LAN games of Command & Conquer. After months of working on a game that featured classical music and fantasy sound effects, it was an experience to have the office filled with the sounds of combat, explosions, and “Got a present for ya!” That’s what makes this so exciting for me, to appreciate the franchise as both a game maker and a game player and to have the opportunity to bring back the magic that made the Command & Conquer games so great over the last fifteen years.
Eric: In closing, do you have anything you’d like to say to the fans?
JVC: Absolutely! I want the fans to know that Victory Games is committed to bringing Command & Conquer back to the forefront for the next ten years and beyond. We’ll be announcing our first new game later this year, check out www.commandandconquer.com for new updates and information!
Victory Games is Electronic Arts' dedicated Strategy Gaming studio. Formed in 2010 under the leadership of Jon Van Caneghem, Victory Games has offices in Los Angeles, CA; Austin, TX; and Shanghai, China and is currently focused on the Command & Conquer franchise.