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Warhammer 40,000 license goes to Slitherine

Warhammer 40,000 license goes to Slitherine

The much loved Warhammer 40,000 setting is best known to video gamers through Relic's Dawn of War series.

Games Workshop has announced a licensing deal for its grim-dark sci-fi tabletop war-game franchise, Warhammer 40,000, with game developer and publisher Slitherine.

Slitherine Software is known for a bevy of lesser known historical strategy games predominantly on the PC with some titles on Mac and iPad. It has also produced a tabletop war-game of its own, Field of Glory.

What games will be developed and which platforms they will be developed for as a result of the deal is yet to be announced, but a statement from the Slitherine Group suggests that it will be working on turn based strategy titles.

'This deal represents yet another testament to our continuous aim to reach new audiences, without losing sight of who we are and what we do best,' said Slitherine Group chairman JD McNeil.

'The Warhammer 40,000 setting is a perfect fit for the style of strategy games that we make and will be very popular with fantasy and science fiction fans alike. Joining forces with Games Workshop will allow us to bring a wonderfully deep and appropriate IP to the Turn Based Strategy genre.'

The Slitherine Group includes Matrix Games and Ageod and has published games for the BBC, Showtime, Scholastic and Buzz Aldrin Enterprises.

'Slitherine are clearly established and successful masters of their genre of games, and there are many fans of their work here at GW. It’s a pleasure to work with such like minded individuals who share our passion for strategy games of all types,' said Games Workshop head of licensing Jon Gillard.

It had previously been thought that the Warhammer 40,000 license would be heading to Sega following its acquisition of Relic Entertainment during the THQ auction. In addition to them now owning Relic, responsible for the popular and mostly source-material-faithful Dawn of War series, Sega-owned Total War developers Creative Assembly also recently licensed the setting's fantasy counterpart, Warhammer.

However, despite the deal with Slitherine, it does not necessarily mean that Sega is out of the running completely for producing Warhammer 40,000-based titles.

23 Comments

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Baz 15th March 2013, 11:53 Quote
Looks to be a dreadful choice. Swap out one of the best PC devs out there (Relic) for a company that's never made a AAA game before. Just look at its website; it's incredibly amateurish and looks like it was knocked together by a 6th former in an afternoon. http://www.slitherine.com/
Corky42 15th March 2013, 13:26 Quote
Quote:
Slitherine are clearly established and successful masters of their genre of games

Sorry, who are masters of their genre ?
Quote:
and there are many fans of their work
There are ?

It's a sad end to the great Warhammer 40,000 series :'(
Phalanx 15th March 2013, 13:45 Quote
Baz, they're only handling turn-based. From what I understand, Relic still hold their Dawn of War licence.
Harlequin 15th March 2013, 14:05 Quote
in alternative news - Gryphondor came along and said ` wtf pwn j00 nubs`
blacko 15th March 2013, 14:12 Quote
We demand more information on Siltherine. David Hing, your job now is to go and interview them. Find out what they want to do. Don't leave us on the edge here. We all thought we could have ended up with a 40k Total War style game....so go on, get a move on.
sotu1 15th March 2013, 15:13 Quote
On the one hand I'm happy some *might* have a role in turn based 40k....on the other hand who the f*ck are Slitherine!?

Shoulda taken the turn based game to Firaxis. Imagine that. X-Com styled 40k (I cream my pants thinking about it)
jrs77 15th March 2013, 15:16 Quote
Only ever played it as tabletop. All stuff that was done for PC with this franchise was horrible imho.

Sororitas ftw!
Grimloon 15th March 2013, 16:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Looks to be a dreadful choice. Swap out one of the best PC devs out there (Relic) for a company that's never made a AAA game before.

And as Relic are now owned by Sega rather than THQ they may never make one again :(
Marvin-HHGTTG 15th March 2013, 17:00 Quote
Before folk get their knickers in a twist, the chances of Games Workshop turning down the colossal amount of money and publicity that Dawn of War etc earns them is zilch. I suspect GW will be able to license its own franchise more than once for different projects...

As it sounds like Slitherine will be working on a turn based strategy game, I'm hoping we see a modern version of Final Liberation, or even a virtual version of the table-top game. Would certainly be cheaper...
rollo 15th March 2013, 17:14 Quote
likely hood is we will see a mac and ipad version made of the game, As thats what this company is more known for ipad and mac games.

Guess Sega did not bid enough to get the deal.
sotu1 15th March 2013, 17:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin-HHGTTG
Before folk get their knickers in a twist, the chances of Games Workshop turning down the colossal amount of money and publicity that Dawn of War etc earns them is zilch. I suspect GW will be able to license its own franchise more than once for different projects...


Totally agree, but I'd be happier seeing an IP that I love handled by some big experts who could give the game the polish it deserves.

I'll give Slitherine a chance, they could produce something special.
thom804 15th March 2013, 18:30 Quote
What the ****?!

This has literally left me open mouthed with shock. Sell your license to a company nobody know, who will produce games that nobody will buy after the reviews will inevitably pan them to death.

In comparison to Relic, the greatest (imo) RTS company and Sega, who now also own the second greatest RTS dev.

After Games Workshop trying to sue for the name 'Space Marine', and now this, they're really starting to piss me off with these awful decisions.

EDIT: Yes i'm jumping to conclusions, so sue me (Hope GW don't read this)
rollo 15th March 2013, 18:38 Quote
they dont have a choice who they sell the licence too thom thq are broke. highest bidder wins.
thom804 15th March 2013, 19:06 Quote
I'm pretty sure they (GW) had a choice.

Depending on stipulations, i'm guessing they would get a cut of profits based on number of games sold, in which case Games Workshop made an awful choice.

Unless, like you said, it was a straight up bid with absolutely no interest in the games themselves.
djab 15th March 2013, 19:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimloon
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baz
Looks to be a dreadful choice. Swap out one of the best PC devs out there (Relic) for a company that's never made a AAA game before.

And as Relic are now owned by Sega rather than THQ they may never make one again :(

Sega owns Creative Assembly, the developers of the Total War series.
I sure they would know how to make a good 40K strategy game.

slitherine, they may be good at table top style games ... but I never heard of them, never heard of the sellers games on there website.

I am all for encouraging inde studio but I guess GW just chose them to try to grab a slice of the mobile gaming market with the 40K brand.

I just hope that other studios are also working on 40K games.
Sloth 15th March 2013, 19:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin-HHGTTG
Before folk get their knickers in a twist, the chances of Games Workshop turning down the colossal amount of money and publicity that Dawn of War etc earns them is zilch. I suspect GW will be able to license its own franchise more than once for different projects...

As it sounds like Slitherine will be working on a turn based strategy game, I'm hoping we see a modern version of Final Liberation, or even a virtual version of the table-top game. Would certainly be cheaper...
I'd love to have a virtual replication of the table top game. Huge market GW is missing out on imo, to someone who is really into the hobby owning and building models is still a large part of the experience, but having a cheaper virtual option allows a much wider range of players to get in on the experience.

Unfortunately, the chances of that happening are slim which makes me wonder: just what kind of turn based game could they make? Most likely something with similar but largely modified gameplay and a 40k setting to sell more copies. Not too exciting.
jrs77 15th March 2013, 20:37 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sloth
I'd love to have a virtual replication of the table top game. Huge market GW is missing out on imo, to someone who is really into the hobby owning and building models is still a large part of the experience, but having a cheaper virtual option allows a much wider range of players to get in on the experience.

Unfortunately, the chances of that happening are slim which makes me wonder: just what kind of turn based game could they make? Most likely something with similar but largely modified gameplay and a 40k setting to sell more copies. Not too exciting.

Original Warhammer 40k tabletop for the iPad in 3d would be awesome!
thom804 15th March 2013, 23:17 Quote
I'm not entirely sure a 40k virtual tabletop game would be successful in the slightest really.

The people that would want that, probably have a decent enough army to play a match for real.
People that don't have armies can use ones that are at GW stores.
The only market I see this appealing to are the ones that don't want to cart their models around with them to a tourny/match.

The whole appeal of the Relic games, as I see it, is that they created a far more dynamic aspect that just can't be recreated through a tabletop game or a virtual representation.

Yes, the civ series is very succesful as a video-game turnbased franchise, but I just don't see it taking off for Warhammer, brand name prestige or not.
impar 16th March 2013, 10:46 Quote
Greetings!

Was exposed to Slitherine via Panzer Corps, they kep it close to the classic Panzer General feel but added some interesting mechanics to it.
Wait to see.
Roskoken 16th March 2013, 19:14 Quote
They seem to make knock off Paradox Interactive clones. Maybe a turn based title for the ipad or some ****.
NetSphere 17th March 2013, 04:31 Quote
Um. To be honest, Relic never made it on my radar until they made Dawn of War 1. Apparently, they made Homeworld 1 & 2, but until DoW1, I didn't know about them.

I would venture a guess that GW don't want to put all their eggs in one basket, and I welcome other companies into trying to make a w40k game. Hopefully, they'll nail it on the head and they become 'established' just like Relic did. We need more good companies making games, not concentrating all the production in a select few, IMO.
thom804 18th March 2013, 00:53 Quote
You never played Homeworld? Epic game, just epic.
It's abandonware now so you can probably find a rip of it on a warez site pretty easily.

As for putting eggs in one basket, there's pretty good reason for it. Relic are really REALLY good at what they do. Slitherine, from what I see on the other hand, have been around for quite awhile and haven't made anything of any note. They may not have publisher backing, but then publisher backing comes with making good games.

I'll try to hold judgment as much as possible just now, but I see no good coming from this deal.

EDIT: After a quick search for Homeworld (You reignited my interest), I found that there is a kickstarter to make a threequel. It looks like a new startup company but I threw $15 at them for good measure.
Sloth 18th March 2013, 19:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by thom804
I'm not entirely sure a 40k virtual tabletop game would be successful in the slightest really.

The people that would want that, probably have a decent enough army to play a match for real.
People that don't have armies can use ones that are at GW stores.
The only market I see this appealing to are the ones that don't want to cart their models around with them to a tourny/match.

The whole appeal of the Relic games, as I see it, is that they created a far more dynamic aspect that just can't be recreated through a tabletop game or a virtual representation.

Yes, the civ series is very succesful as a video-game turnbased franchise, but I just don't see it taking off for Warhammer, brand name prestige or not.
There already is a decent amount of interest within the 40K (and I assume fantasy) community for programs to recreate the tabletop game. There's a fairly popular one, starts with a V if anyone can remind me before I search and possibly edit it in, that's basically a top down picture with little markers you move manually to represent models.

Considering the cost of a decent sized army, the time involvement, and the perceived challenge of modelling to those who just want to play a game there are plenty of people interested in the game, but put off for some reason. Price it like a AAA game and you're still at a fraction of the cost, little time involvement, no modelling worries, and you can play with anyone anywhere at any time online.

Even owning two armies already I'd gladly buy a PC game to be able to play without having to drive out to a hobby shop. To play other armies without having to invest literally hundreds of dollars or substitute everything and only play with close friends who allow it. To get more friends into it by not having to convince them to spend hundreds of dollars (not everyone's near a GW, and even if you are it gets old borrowing). To play with thousands of others online rather than the couple dozen local players. It'd be great to have in addition to the models.

Considering that even a AAA price $60 game is equivalent to some single models I don't see how it could it fail, really. Actually, I do, and that's exactly the reason. They can't sell the whole game for so little, their money is in making players buy new models, new codices, new paint, et cetera. Buy a game once and it's done. No new income. They'd have to *******ize it with DLC and paid content to turn the same kind of profit and in doing so kill the game.
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