Real-time strategy is the name given to a genre of video games in which the player builds and maintains a large military force which he or she then takes into battle. The genre is differentiated from turn-based games by taking place in real-time, requiring fast reflexes and a good spatial awareness to keep track of multiple areas of the battlefield simultaneously.
The genre was codified in the mid-1990s by games such as WarCraft: Orcs and Humans (1994) and Command and Conquer (1995), although the earliest examples of the genre are generally held to be Carrier Command (1988), Herzog Zwei (1989) and Dune II: The Battle for Arrakis (1992). The genre was massively popular in the late 1990s, arguably reaching an apex with Command and Conquer: Red Alert (1996), Total Annihilation (1997) and StarCraft (1998). The genre subsequently struggled with a move into 3D and a series of commercial failures followed. The genre became significantly less popular in the following decade, although WarCraft III (2002), Dawn of War (2004), Company of Heroes (2006) and Supreme Commander (2007) all proved successful. Which the exception of StarCraft II (2010) and several expansions, the genre has not achieved any major sales successes in recent years. Popular wisdom has suggested that the genre has been supplanted by the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) subgenre, which evolved out of RTS games.
Command and Conquer: Red Alert II (2001, Electronic Arts/Westwood)
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