Company of Heroes Online deploying in North America

THQ confirms fall launch date for free-to-play online installment of World War II real-time strategy series from Relic Entertainment.

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.

Company of Heroes Online is being made by Relic, a company of game developers.

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.

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Discussion

22 comments
BornGamer
BornGamer

I'll definitely be playing this while all the kiddies drool over Starcraft 2 with it's "turn the clock back 15 years" approach to RTS development.

Fancelot
Fancelot

@Gelugon_baat... actually this move is probably due to piracy... thats why Free to play models are so popular in countries like China where they experience like 95-99% piracy rates for PC games. In this day and age, single player based PC games just dont as well as they used to due to piracy. Free to play is the way of the future since its one of the few tools that actually works against piracy. By maintaining official servers that keep track of official stats/leaderboards, friends list, and other features all for free, it draws people in to invest their time into the game... and if they're hooked, they're very likely to shell out the cash. This is why games like Farmville and Mafia Wars do so well even though they are horrible horrible games mechanics wise. Don't blame the publishers, blame the PC market, all they are doing is adapting to the average PC gamer. You wouldn't blame a store that sells expensive glass dinnerware to shift into selling durable plastic versions if their customers and market only consists of clumsy people with ADHD... and are also blind.

Vengeancekael
Vengeancekael

I hope they will translate it to english better this time :/

will98499
will98499

"Purchase special units and upgrades as an alternative to earning them. " If you can earn everything, that'll be cool

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

Instead of rereleasing old rubbish bring us a Russian or Japanese campaign. Even better bring us a 1939-1941 German campaign!!!!

lil_luz_10
lil_luz_10

They still have so much untapped potential with this game... they still have some balancing issues, and longtime fans including myself are dying to see campaigns including the Russians, and Japanese. Im a little disappointed with the choices by THQ.

tinker0007
tinker0007

u have to purchase items to be in competition and u saying its free. it SUCKS.

tinker0007
tinker0007

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

hey its says.... "The game will be driven by microtransactions, as players can purchase special units and upgrades as an alternative to earning them. " .....as an ALTERNATIVE.... so im guessing you can level and achieve/loot gear the traditional way, through countless hours of mindnubing, arthritis inducing, grinding ; )

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

The game manybe free to download but you have to purchase everything else, to keep up with the competition. Nothing is totally free these days.

Wolf3037
Wolf3037

How about fixing COH instead? The game is fun as hell, but I'm sick of how unbalanced the game can be. Or rather...put more effort into the expansions. We all know how half-assed Tales of Valor was. The players have been demanding an Eastern front expansion for years...in that time we've received no response...Maybe user based mod's the only way to get what you want in COH.

gamer082009
gamer082009

People complaining and they're giving it away for free? Sure we can say why not just create a new COH..but how do we know they are not?

wis3boi
wis3boi

I hope they make some more CoH games or bring us some good content for a Dawn of War expansion in the future

Jawehawk-DK
Jawehawk-DK

How about they get back to fixing CoH, instead of wasting their time with this piece of SH*T! Those of us who paid for the origional CoH games, are still waiting for you to fix the balancing issues, as well as al lthe smurfs and drop hackers. This is pissing me of.

endocrine
endocrine

Microtransactions are just a way to get more money for the same game. Plus, the CoD community is so bad to play with, that it is not worth even trying.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

You can buy special units and upgrades. Sooooo Starcraft 2 launches july 27......................

Warlypwnage
Warlypwnage

why make a sequel instead this sucks

runstalker
runstalker

Boxed PC game sales are essentially non-existent in much of Asia, including big ones like Call of Duty, Modern Warfare, BF, and games like Company of Heroes. Everything PC is digital/online. So it behooves these North American-based publishers to bring their big properties to Korea and China as lower spec persistent online derivatives. And after Asia deals with early operation bugs, the studios loop back to North America and feed the product to us. At least this one is a full-on Relic production, not a shoddy farmed-out tragedy.

IrishMarine3
IrishMarine3

I think this will be similar to a mod called Europe In Ruins that's been around for quite a while... You'll probably have a persistent army that is saved and upgraded used to fight against other players, this eliminates base building and makes the game a lot more tactical.

juden41
juden41

Sounds interesting, though I'm still not entirely sure how it differs from the regular series.