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Warhammer 40K MMO cancelled by THQ

Warhammer 40K MMO cancelled by THQ

The planned Warhammer 40K MMO is no longer going ahead, although THQ has promised a 40K-based 'premium experience' is still on the cards.

THQ has announced that is to lay off 118 employees across two of its studios as it struggles to find a profitable balance between hardcore and casual gaming franchises.

The job losses, which are made up of 39 staff from Relic Entertainment in Vancouver and 79 at Vigial Games in Texas, come with an added blow for THQ's fans: news that the upcoming Warhammer 40K-based massively multiplayer title is no longer going ahead.

That's not to say the game has been cancelled outright, however. THQ is still developing a title based on the Games Workshop miniature tabletop wargaming franchise, but it will no longer take the form of an MMO. At a time when World of Warcraft, one of the most popular MMOs in history, is hemorrhaging subscribers and its rivals are increasingly switching to free-to-play models, that may well prove a wise move.

As previously announced, we have been actively looking for a business partner for the game as an MMO,' THQ chief executive Brian Farrel explained in a statement to press. 'However, based on changing market dynamics and the additional investment required to complete the game as an MMO, we believe the right direction for us is to shift the title from an MMO to a premium experience with single and multiplayer gameplay, robust digital content and community features.'

Details of exactly what form the 'premium experience' will take have not yet been provided by the company.

THQ has had a rough few years despite some well-received titles. Back in 2009 it laid off 250 staff following a £72 million loss for the quarter, while its losses for the year totalled an eye-watering $430 million. The job losses will come as a blow to the staff affected, naturally, but things could be worse: THQ was forced to close Big Huge Games, developer of Rise of Nations and the Xbox Live Arcade version of Settlers of Catan.

25 Comments

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thom804 30th March 2012, 13:28 Quote
This seriously sucks.

Not mainly because of the bane that is F2P, rather the fact they're laying off staff from Relic. In my opinion one of the great devs around today.

Bring on a sequel to Space Marine and/or Dawn of War and i'll be a very happy bunny though.

Awww crap. Just read that Vigial games are the devs of Darksiders 2, another seriously underrated game. Really hope this doesn't mean impending cancellation of that too :(
rollo 30th March 2012, 13:38 Quote
Not a big shock

Star wars cost 3-500 million dollars to make has not exactly been overly successful 2mil subs a whole lot less playing if eu servers are out to go bye perm light load on every server

War hammer does not have that big a subscriber base and I guess they found the break even point to high to realistically continue its development
Bauul 30th March 2012, 13:47 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Not a big shock

Star wars cost 3-500 million dollars to make

£3 million to £500 million? That's one seriously widely ranged estimate! ;)
lysaer 30th March 2012, 14:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bauul
£3 million to £500 million? That's one seriously widely ranged estimate! ;)

The - denotes that the 3 is represented as a hundred. Like saying three to five hundred million ;)

But on topic this sux, I love DoW and DoW2

Sent from my HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio using Tapatalk
Niftyrat 30th March 2012, 14:15 Quote
As I have said elsewhere not his subject, W40k was never an ideal candidate for MMO due to the sheer scale and nature of the storylines. It could have been good but a fps with squad based play would have been the best way to go. Space marine suffer due to a lack of multiplayer campaign, the multiplayer elements get boring quite quickly.

Dawn of war 2 was not as good as the original due to its lack of scale and buggy windows live, although I hope DOW3 will return to the original formant but will also introduce an online element where your results affect a permanent universe I don't hold out much hope.
Cutting staff does not suggest they are going to be revolutionary in their approach or try and think outside of the box, instead they will play it safe with effectively no more then patch releases to the engines used in 40k while still charging full price.
Blademrk 30th March 2012, 14:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thom804

Awww crap. Just read that Vigial games are the devs of Darksiders 2, another seriously underrated game. Really hope this doesn't mean impending cancellation of that too :(

Darksiders 2 is due for release in June (29th I think).
I'm really looking forward to it too.
Grimloon 30th March 2012, 14:35 Quote
That really sucks to hear about Relic having to lay off staff, they've been behind some of my favourite games over the years, particularly Homeworld and Dawn of War.
Woollster00 30th March 2012, 15:02 Quote
God dam it where is my new dow game :(
Andy Mc 30th March 2012, 15:36 Quote
FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU
ChaosDefinesOrder 30th March 2012, 15:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blademrk
Quote:
Originally Posted by thom804

Awww crap. Just read that Vigial games are the devs of Darksiders 2, another seriously underrated game. Really hope this doesn't mean impending cancellation of that too :(

Darksiders 2 is due for release in June (29th I think).
I'm really looking forward to it too.

Definitely add me to that sentiment! Darksiders was a fantastic game (or as I like to call it: God of Ocarina May Cry) and thoroughly looking forward to the sequel!

Also add me to the sentiments of not being able to fathom how W40K could work as an MMO. The entire ethos of Warhammer is geared up for limited scope arena based warfare so is much more suited to RTS than Warcraft style...
ModSquid 30th March 2012, 15:48 Quote
Not too sure of the logistics and I'm kind of speaking before giving it too much thought, but given that in the grim darkness of the far future there is apparently only a bit of aggro, I'd be up for a persistent universe in the same vein as the upcoming Eve/Dust effort. That way you cater for several audiences at once.
DaBigDog 30th March 2012, 16:33 Quote
Ahhh nuts, what do you have to do to get some decent IP into a computer games, and really does it cost that much to bring an MMO to market ?

Saying that - I wouldn't say no to a 40k RTS game as a consolation prize !!
loftie 30th March 2012, 16:37 Quote
That sucks. I think it would have done really well tbh. 40K always seemed to be more popular than Warhammer and I think with Space Marine and DoW it would have helped.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lysaer
The - denotes that the 3 is represented as a hundred. Like saying three to five hundred million ;)

But on topic this sux, I love DoW and DoW2

Sent from my HTC Sensation XE with Beats Audio using Tapatalk

Ah but then how would you say three to five hundred million? I'd say three hundred to five hundred million :P
rollo 30th March 2012, 18:12 Quote
it was ment as 300-500million dollars to make

they are break even around 1mil subs or something was said
Nikumba 30th March 2012, 20:37 Quote
Well there goes any tiny whisper of hope for a Homeworld 3 :(
Sloth 30th March 2012, 22:04 Quote
Shame seeing this go as an MMO, would have been interesting to see how they pulled it off. If only they'd make a Warhammer turn based strategy game, something more similar to the tabletop but sufficiently different for GW to allow it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChaosDefinesOrder

Also add me to the sentiments of not being able to fathom how W40K could work as an MMO. The entire ethos of Warhammer is geared up for limited scope arena based warfare so is much more suited to RTS than Warcraft style...
Funny that you say "Warcraft style" for an MMO when there are three Warcraft RTS games. :p
ChaosDefinesOrder 30th March 2012, 22:43 Quote
that was meant to say "world of warcraft" :-)
DriftCarl 30th March 2012, 23:06 Quote
I Think MMO's are not as much a gimmick as they use to be. I am a pretty hardcore gamer, although I tend to choose 1 game at a time. I played wow for 4 years, SWG before that until it got the crap game killing updates. but MMO's to me now are all the same, no one is making a big effort to re-invent the genre, SWTOR had a good go, and I do think its a very well made game and enjoyed the beta, but never felt worth investing my time to want to subscribe. Free to play mmo's to me just feel too casual and are even more bland than subscription based ones.
I am still shocked that no one is putting the customisation and non combat features from SWG into any other MMO, I am seriously considering playing the SWG emulator version when its on a more stable release.
Waynio 30th March 2012, 23:44 Quote
Why couldn't they have 2 modes in MMO's 1 for casual players & 1 for hardcore players, would that not solve the problem with these games?, :? surely there would be enough of both sides to make it work.
Sloth 31st March 2012, 00:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waynio
Why couldn't they have 2 modes in MMO's 1 for casual players & 1 for hardcore players, would that not solve the problem with these games?, :? surely there would be enough of both sides to make it work.
It's a problem of divided playerbase, the organization and balance of the two compared to each other would be a nightmare. Make them two totally separate experiences and you've effectively cut your number of players for either game in half. Numbers like 1 million players sounds nice as a total, but it's critical to make sure these 1 million players are organized in decently populated servers to make it enjoyable. Make them interact with each other and you're struggling to maintain balance, particularly in a Warhammer game which would undoubtably be player versus player heavy.

Of course, the cynical side would say that it's all pointless worrying about a balance of hardcore and casual players. What THQ is actually saying is that there's far more money in casual players and they're going to sell to this market more before they lose any more money.
ADJB 31st March 2012, 00:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
it was ment as 300-500million dollars to make

they are break even around 1mil subs or something was said

So, say $400m to make, 1m subs. That means each player is expected to fork up $400 average for break even. That seems a lot to ask even for MMO players used to paying out each month. The fact is besides WoW I doubt if many, if any, MMO's have taken this much and the pay monthly model does seem to be badly in decline. Looks like a good shout on an economic basis to me.
fdbh96 31st March 2012, 09:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ADJB
So, say $400m to make, 1m subs. That means each player is expected to fork up $400 average for break even. That seems a lot to ask even for MMO players used to paying out each month. The fact is besides WoW I doubt if many, if any, MMO's have taken this much and the pay monthly model does seem to be badly in decline. Looks like a good shout on an economic basis to me.

You do have to buy the game originally aswell though don't you?
Eiffie 31st March 2012, 16:45 Quote
Warhammer RULEZ although space marine was below average but the dawn of war series still rocks. Can't say I blame them for ditching the MMO idea since there's already so many of those hanging around competing for the player base. I could honestly care less about darksiders though, I picked up the first one for half price during a steam sale on the recommendations of a friend and couldn't stand the "press this button to kill the enemy" moments that seem to happen every other enemy as well as the boring plot and characters. That game made the campy story from Bayonetta feel like one of those sundance film festival winners.
PlayLoud 31st March 2012, 19:57 Quote
Where do you get the $300-$500 million range? There was one unverified article where an ex employee claimed $300 million, but everybody since then seems to think that is too high to be accurate.

BioWare has said they need 500k subscribers to make a profit. So, 2 million (if they can sustain that) should be plenty. 2 million is a LOT for an MMO not named WoW.
sear 1st April 2012, 21:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Star wars cost 3-500 million dollars to make has not exactly been overly successful 2mil subs a whole lot less playing if eu servers are out to go bye perm light load on every server
No way. All reports indicate is somewhere around $200 million USD, with more for marketing on top of that. It's an expensive game but it's definitely nowhere near $500 million.
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