Red Alert Online is a server relaunch of Command & Conquer: Red Alert, a real-time strategy video game of the Command & Conquer franchise, produced by Westwood Studios and released in 1996. The second game in the C&C franchise, Red Alert is actually the prequel to the original Command & Conquer of 1995 and takes place in alternate history, when Allied Forces battle an aggressive Soviet Union for control over the European mainland. On August 31, 2008, Electronic Arts (who acquired Westwood Studios in 1998) made Command & Conquer: Red Alert free. The version of Red Alert linked to here refers to the free version provided and hosted by CnCNet. This game is now available free for nostalgic RTS gamers from the last century, low computer specs, game historians, and fans of the Command & Conquer franchise more generally.