Articles & Editorials: The Skaggs Conspiracy

Well, 2005 has been and gone, and as we all know, it was a year in the doldrums for the Command and Conquer Community. Up until September, when the infamous Mark Skaggs/Red Alert 3 announcement was made. This was both a cause for an excitement for the Community, and another reason for the EA-haters among the Community to hate EALA even more. This article, although long overdue, is dedicated to whom I (and many others) see as the Unsung Hero of the Command and Conquer Community: Mark Skaggs.

The Red Alert 3 Project may as well been a Government Military Project. It was all hush-hush and “If you tell anyone outside these doors we will hunt you down”. It was controversial as it was exciting. I mean, hell, a new Command and Conquer game? Set in arguably the most popular universe, the Red Alert series? Who the hell wouldn’t be excited? The fans have been expecting something from EA since the disappointment that was Generals, although admittedly, that game was a change, something fresh and new. But, the point is, someone at EALA was getting frustrated with this secrecy. That someone was Mark Skaggs. In the infamous RA3 Announcement email, he said this:

“The one thing we’ve grown to understand is how important the community – our most loyal supporters – is for industry. This started back in our days at Westwood where the community for our games has always been a big priority. We understand that you are the most important and influential group for us”

Westwood Blood, no? He obviously wanted to tell us – the Community – That we’d be in for a real treat fairly soon. The mere fact that he stated: “This announcement is not going out to the press and it won’t appear on the EA web site or anywhere else online.” basically proved that he wanted to do things old-school, Westwood-style.

Unfortunately, a sudden act of unselfishness leads to a massive uproar in a mega corporation such as EALA. He, like everybody else at Westwood Studios back in the days, wanted the fans to view for themselves, not to be left in the dark, and having to adjust to EALA’s strict “Shut the hell up” policy would’ve been a massive blow to how he works. Which justifies his actions, without a doubt. Please don’t think, “Oh, yet another wild conspiracy theory!” when I say this, but myself and a few other people of the CNCNZ Community have come to believe that Mark Skaggs was not frustrated. Oh no. We think he was absolutely furious. The year 2005 saw the Command and Conquer 10th year anniversary. Nothing happened, when all of us in the CnC Community got our hopes up that something would be announced or revealed. Then, as to add salt to the wound, an announcement was made: that Skaggs was taking an unconfirmed leave of absence, to “spend more time with his family”. Then, the day after this announcement, we hear that Skaggs will be “back on the job later this year.”

The CnC 10th Anniversary was in August. Those two accouncements were in September. It is now January 2006. Is this a cover up or not? Where is Mark Skaggs?

I say, cut the bull****. He was fired because he wanted to keep the Community alive. It’s pretty damn obvious that he was taken to court over the whole matter. Although, thanks to his efforts, Red Alert 3 is now probably shelved indefinably, we must admire him for the fact that he wanted to do something for us: the Community.

Although, at the moment, the future of Command and Conquer is in doubt, we still have another year of possibilities. We should not give up hope until we are absolutely sure Command and Conquer has died. Which is why we should remember the actions of Mark Skaggs. In my opinion, the Unsung Hero of Command and Conquer.

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