In South Korea, Starcraft became a national obsession, spawning a following comparable to professional sports with star players, matches played in stadiums with play by plays, and even little Zergling sneakers. But what about in the USA? Can EA try to make Command and Conquer as popular in the US as Blizzard did with Starcraft in Korea? EA's new online show, Battlecast Primetime, isn't a bad start.
The first episode runs around an hour and covers an online match of Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars with play by play from no less than 4 commentators, features an interview with actor Joe Kucan (Kane from the C&C series), a preview of the upcoming expansion pack, and no less than 5 commercial breaks for other EA products. The commercials are short at least and the Simpsons game looks surprisingly promising. Players can submit recordings of online matches for consideration for future episodes of the show.
I admit to really enjoying what EA is doing with this concept. The show has nice production values and while the hosts, being members of the C&C 3 development team, could use some work in their delivery, they certainly take the proceedings seriously and aren't as glib as any of the shows on feared cable show G4. Whether the show is just preaching to the converted or will result in more mainstream media interest as gaming as a competetive sport is another issue entirely.
I have had really fond memories of the Command and Conquer series growing up and plan to check out this new installment down the road when I get a Xbox 360. My favorite of the series is Red Alert 2 for its delicious camp FMV scenes and hyper-fast gameplay.
Any thoughts on this episode of Command and Conquer: Battlecast Primetime?
Command and Conquer: Battlecast Primetime Episode 1 (Requires Flash to Watch)
Based on my G4 experience when that network first came out, I can tolerate watching such shows for a short period of time and then tend to lose interest. Frankly I only like watching professional sports (no college or lower) and even so-called professional gaming does nothing for me. It's time better spent elsewhere usually...