|1996 was a fantastic year for Westwood
Studios and for Brett Sperry. It was the year that
Command & Conquer: Red Alert was finally released to
an anxious and rabid crowd of gaming fans.This
third-generation real-time strategy game (after Dune II
and Command & Conquer) broke the records set by
WarCraft II to become the fastest selling real-time
strategy game ever, eclipsing the one million unit mark
worldwide after only a few months. 1996 was also the year
that Sperry decided to bring the Command & Conquer
franchises to the consoles, beginning development for the
Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn.
Red Alert, as the biggest real-time commercial hit to date, definitely had a big impact on the development of real-time strategy games in 1996 and this year. The evidence of that is the over forty titles ready to saturate the genre by this Christmas.
In the wake of Virgin's faltering product lineup, Sperry was also appointed to the position of President of Worldwide Development at Westwood's parent company, Virgin Interactive. He was operating unofficially in that capacity months before he actually assumed the official title several months ago. In this capacity, he not only had the opportunity and responsibility to oversee all creative development at Westwood (including the upcoming releases like Bladerunner, Lands of Lore 2, Sole Survivor, and 1998's C&C 2), but all of Virgin's in-house and third-party development as well.