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Now we know why those four Command and Conquer games got a price slash: EA just dropped a bundle of old-time classics on Steam, including virtually every C&C game ever made

 Kane from Command and Conquer - not sure which game exactly, sorry.
Kane from Command and Conquer - not sure which game exactly, sorry.

Just a couple days after Electronic Arts slashed the price of four Command and Conquer games to nearly nothing on Steam, it's become apparent why: EA released more than a dozen old-time classic videogames on Steam today including Populous, Dungeon Keeper, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, The Saboteur, and a big bundle called Command and Conquer: The Ultimate Collection.

The Ultimate Collection is not a new Command and Conquer bundle: It was originally assembled back in 2012, and it's previously been available on the EA App. But now you can pick it up on Steam, which should make just about everyone happier.

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The downside—a very small one, in my mind—is that this is now the only way to get the individual Command and Conquer games on Steam. So if you wanted, for instance, Red Alert 3 or Tiberium Wars, you have to buy the whole bundle. That's not a terrible situation, especially right now with the package on sale for half price—that's $10—and it's a whole lot o' C&C for a tenner:

  • Command & Conquer

  • Command & Conquer: The Covert Operations

  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert

  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert: Counterstrike

  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert: The Aftermath

  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun

  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun Firestorm

  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2

  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge

  • Command & Conquer: Renegade

  • Command & Conquer: Generals

  • Command & Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour

  • Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars

  • Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars: Kane's Wrath

  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3

  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: Uprising

  • Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight

The only one missing, as far as I can tell, is C&C: Sole Survivor, a multiplayer spinoff that went offline in 2002.

Each of the games in the bundle still has its own Steam page (for now, at least) as seen in the bundle listing, but the only available purchase option for most of them is the Ultimate Collection. A few, like C&C: Renegade, have links to "check out the entire Command & Conquer franchise on Steam," which takes you to a more conventional Steam category page, but confusingly that leads back to the individual store pages with Ultimate Collection purchase links anyway, so you're back where you started.

It's a bit of a strange setup, but as a reader pointed out after the story first went up, maintaining separate game pages and pricing has a pretty distinct upside: If you already own any of the games in the bundle, their cost will be discounted from the price of the bundle, so you only pay for the games you don't already have. In their case, they already owned Command and Conquer 3, 4, and Red Alert 3, so those games were excluded when they purchased the bundle and it ended up costing $5.

Command and Conquer Ultimate Collection - partial bundle pricing on Steam
Command and Conquer Ultimate Collection - partial bundle pricing on Steam

The bottom line is that every Command and Conquer game (including Renegade, which is grossly underrated and I won't apologize for saying so) for ten bucks, or less if you already own any of them, is a very good deal. Even at regular price, I'd call it a winner.

If Command and Conquer isn't your thing, these also turned up on Steam today:

Despite their age, there are some genuine bangers here. Alpha Centauri stands as one of the highest-rated games in PC Gamer history, and Populous—my sentimental favorite of the bunch—is Peter Molyneux at the peak of his powers, back before, well, everything. The Saboteur, which I believe is the newest of the bunch, is also very well regarded, and oddly has until now been available on GOG and EA, but not Steam.

All of these games are on sale now too: The Saboteur is $5, for instance, while Populous, Sim City 3000, and Dungeon Keeper Gold are $2 each. The sale prices are on until March 21.