Good News! EA To Open Source Command and Conquer’s Tiberian Dawn & Red Alert

Command and conquer is probably one of the biggest active classic RTS (Real-Time Strategy) game franchise out there.

And, EA recently announced that they will be making two of the popular titles of the franchise (Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert) open source.

And, this is coming from EA that we’ve held responsible for banning Linux gamers earlier this year. So, this is quite a surprise!

I wasn’t even on earth when this game started a revolution of RTS games — so it makes sense that many gamers have nostalgic experiences with the game.

EA’s Decision To Open Source Tiberian Dawn & Red Alert

The announcement to open source the popular titles was a surprise in disguise of addressing the mod support for the Remastered Collection of the game which should arrive soon enough.

Even though this isn’t something that’s coming to Linux with native support, the decision to open-source some of the popular titles was an impressive move.

It is worth noting that both Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert were available as freeware but now that they have been made open-source is good progress.

Also, just because its open source, it’s going to ensure compatibility with community projects like CnCNet and OpenRA. They did mention it as well:

After discussing with the council members, we made the decision to go with the GPL license to ensure compatibility with projects like CnCNet and Open RA. Our goal was to deliver the source code in a way that would be truly beneficial for the community, and we hope this will enable amazing community projects for years to come.

Not just for the open-source community to play around with the classic project — but it can also be considered as a milestone in the gaming industry.

Here’s what the official announcement read:

Electronic Arts will be releasing the TiberianDawn.dll and RedAlert.dll and their corresponding source code under the GPL version 3.0 license. This is a key moment for Electronic Arts, the C&C community, and the gaming industry, as we believe this will be one of the first major RTS franchises to open source their source code under the GPL.

Command And Conquer Collection
Command And Conquer Collection

While we already know that the Command & Conquer (C&C) paved the way for many modern RTS games on mobile — hence, this is a significant decision by EA.

Now that part of C&C Tiberian Dawn and Red Alert is open source, you should expect impressive mods just like the one mentioned in the announcement:

The community council has already been playing with the source code and are posting some fun experiments in our Discord channel. But to showcase a tangible example of what you can do with the software, Petroglyph has actually created a new modded unit to play with. So we asked a fun question – “What would the Brotherhood of Nod do if they captured the Mammoth Tank?” Well, one guess is they’d replace the turret with a giant artillery cannon and have it fire tactical nukes! Thus the Nuke Tank was born.

Now that it’s open-source. What do you think about it? Are you going to start playing around with it to create an insane mod (let me know though!)?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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  • CnCnet for free multiplayer and moddb for free games and github for source code.

    Don’t buy into the steam remastered versions, that was ea’s last ditch effort to milk the franchise.

  • Well I had been forecasting the current trend of changes from traditional profit orientated companies like Microsoft and EB for quite a while now before they have actually happened. The question is not why they are doing it…obviously they are foreseeing it to be in their best interest long-term. The question is how they will do it.

    The rise of companies like Google and Facebook are rather obvious cues as to the direction that revenue raising will take in the fast changing IT sector. Inertia is also not surprising, and the fast changes that some organisations are taking, such as EB… seems to reflect the nod from the larger players in co-operative agreements and the subsequent information and strategy sharing that takes place between them.

    As an avid FOSS supporter, community moans about the future of desktop Linux still baffle me. The large non-FOSS organisations in the industry may use and merge their products with Linux and other open-source ventures.. but in my eyes this simply empowers us more than ever. If they are to continue the trend and become universally compatible and FOSS; they only play in to the movement and philosophy.

    Eventually players like google will likely become like “we” wish they were. The productivity advances from mainstreaming development in to the FOSS community is in everyone’s advantage. In the medium term, opportunities exist to cash-in on the hybrid FOSS/proprietary “freaks of nature”. Bring it on, and long live Linux and FOSS.