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The Death of the RTS?

Sometimes, I just feel this urge to start mining resources. In this day and age, where good real-time strategy games are few and far between, it’s very hard to fulfill this urge. Sure, there’s Starcraft 2, but that’s one game. Not that long ago, it seems like there were many more good real-time strategy games. Some of my favorite gaming memories are sending evil gods to hell in Age of Mythology and winning the Battle of Bunker Hill in Age of Empires 3. More recently, one of my most anticipated games in the past several years was Supreme Commander, the futuristic RTS from Chris Taylor, creator of the classic RTS Total Annihilation. At this point, with the one Starcraft being the one exception, the real-time strategy genre is basically dead.

The veritable death knell for the RTS genre was the closing of Ensemble Studios, creators of some of the best RTS games ever made, including the Age of Empires series and my personal favorite, Age of Mythology. Other recent RTS studio closings include Big Huge Games, developers of the beloved Rise of Nations games, which was sold to 38 Studios, and ostensibly was dissolved after 38 Studios’ financial collapse.

The experience of amassing resources, building up a massive, thriving base, and launching attacks on a grand scale are just some of the pleasures found in the real-time strategy genre, and nowhere else. Hopefully, more developers will realize that there is a hole in the hearts of us RTS-lovers, and try and fill it.



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  1. Alex Hinkley

    StarCraft 2 isn’t the one exeption. There’s tons of RTS games still such as Age of Empires Online, End of Nations, Command & Conquer Generals 2, Command & Conquer 4, and Warhammer 40,000 Dawn of War II. Your bio says you play a lot of Civilization so you would also know they JUST released an expansion for Civ 5. How can you say the genre is dead? Anything but. In fact, I published an article recently in the Software Developer’s Journal about porting RTS games to consoles more successfully.

  2. Philip

    Both this and your 38 Studios article say a whole bunch of nothing. You over look a whole bunch of RTS games that are well made and very popular right now. In your 38 studio’s article you make a whole bunch of claims that have no sourcing, no citations and no backing.

    Normally I like leviathyn’s comment, but your last 2 articles have been nothing short of empty words.


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