THQ is opening up a new front in its battle for a piece of the online gaming market this fall. Today the publisher announced that Company of Heroes Online, a downloadable free-to-play spin-off of its PC real-time strategy series developed for the Asian market, will launch in North America this fall.
First announced for the Chinese market in 2007, the game is based on the online component of Relic's highly regarded WWII real-time strategy series. The game will be driven by microtransactions, as players can purchase special units and upgrades as an alternative to earning them. The game also features persistent progression that takes players from private to general, as well as army and commander customization options.
Company of Heroes isn't the only franchise THQ is adapting for the free-to-play online crowd. Later this year, the company plans to launch its WWE series online in Korea, with a wider Asian release to follow. Developed by Korean studio Vertigo Games, WWE SmackDown! vs. RAW Online will allow players to create wrestlers and take them through careers in single-player or multiplayer matches, purchasing items, abilities, and themes to help them on their way. The publisher also created an original free-to-play game, Dragonica Online, which it launched domestically last year.