C&C is my favorite series and I've been delighted at the very thorough dedication given to C&C 3 and the forthcoming Kane's Wrath, but why does the atmosphere have to be so completely gravid and downbeat? These games play like the polar opposite of Red Alert 2 which was by far the most FUN game in the lineup even when others were equally satisfying to play. Kane has been turned from an enjoyably evil guy having a great time taking on the world into a driven madman filled with religious fervor, conviction and an out-of-place sense of urgency. I lay the blame partially at Westwood for their serious take in C&C 2, but man, let's remember how much fun can be had in the midst of the apocalypse (pointedly looking at any Mad Max movie).
That said I'm looking forward to another FPS venture into C&C territory. Bring back Frank Klepacki though! C&C just isn't the same without the boombox music effect.
As for the disappointment with sequels, it's all business. The investment in making games now is high enough that heavy consideration has to be given to the ability to recoup the money, and since no one seems to care about (ie: buy) games that are two years old (subscription games excepted) then a lot of effort and decision must be made to maximize the audience potential at launch date. That usually translates into a pre-existing audience and that means sequel / spinoff / tie-in.
...no, not *that* Brian Reynolds