THQ looking for help with Warhammer 40K MMO

Beleaguered company "actively looking" for publishing partners to launch Dark Millennium Online, taking realistic approach to required financial commitment.

Warhammer 40,000 is set in the grim darkness of the future, but the massively multiplayer online role-playing game has to deal with the grim darkness of THQ's present. In an investor conference call today, THQ CEO Brian Farrell revealed that the publisher is "actively looking" for partners to help it launch the long-in-development MMORPG Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online.

THQ is looking for help to usher in a Dark Millennium.

Farrell positioned the move as THQ being realistic about the financial commitment required to launch and run such a product, which might have been at odds with the company's new post-restructuring approach. During the call, Farrell said the publisher was in the middle of repositioning itself as a "smaller, more agile entertainment company positioned for consistent profitability."

Originally announced in February of 2007, Dark Millennium Online is being handled by Company of Heroes developer Relic and Vigil Games, the Austin, Texas-based studio behind the Darksiders series.

THQ has held the gaming rights to the Warhammer 40,000 property for over a decade and used them to produce titles like Relic's Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War series of PC real-time strategy games and last year's multiplatform third-person action game Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. Last year, THQ extended its licensing agreement with Warhammer creator Games Workshop.

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Discussion

48 comments
tonyhawksP8
tonyhawksP8

Prefer DoW RTS would be nice to send hundreds of units to their death. How does one do a MMO on Warhammer 40k where many perish daily?

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

Another quick way to boost revenue: Space Marine from the Ork perspective -- you know, "Gears of WAAAGH!" ;)

oflow
oflow

if it comes down to it they should shelve the mmo and just make company of heroes 2 and homeworld 3. just from the few clips I've seen the mmo looks worse than swtor which is sayinga lot because swtor is bad.

Shadow_Fire41
Shadow_Fire41

I'm with Darkreaper_1 fun examples of how to do just that. Saints Row RPG (Turn based or otherwise), Gears of War RTS, eetc

King-gamer
King-gamer

This could make or break THQ. They are in a position where failure is not an option. Something tells me that EA is gonna get involved, some how... OH NO. PLEASE NO.

Falzonn
Falzonn

I can't say I'm looking forwards to waaaaht I've seen from this mmo. I'd still rather a 40k fpsmmo similar in idea to Planetside. Or how about even a new 40k turn-based tactical game ala Jagged Alliance or Silent Storm. Or capture 40k tabletop with a Total War style game (real-time OR turn based). *sigh* What worries me more is, would Relic survive the loss of THQ? I'm still waiting for Homeworld 3.

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I don't know. I have played Dow 1, 2, and Space Marine, but they don't feel like the kind of games that transition well to a MMORPG, MMO action maybe. It's ironic too, since the Warcraft universe is inspired in a large degree by the original Warhammer pen-&-paper RPG. However, that train has passed. Blizzard's success does not equate to THQ's success. I think THQ should cut their loses and just give it up. I mean, truly, how many players of Warhammer 40K video games take on the mentality of "I am in a complex universe and want to explore its many aspects through different roles"? As opposed to my position, "I am a Space Marine (or Orc or Chaos Marine), an instrument of the god Emperor (or on a Waaagh! or a disciple of Chaos), I crush all in my path through pure violence. I want nothing more and nothing less."

ProMethUse
ProMethUse

if THQ's planning to develop an MMO for Warhammer 40K, they should make it work... they can't afford to have a flop, what with 200+ lay-offs; and MMO's really hurt developers financially if people don't subscribe.

Darkreaper_1
Darkreaper_1

Why are game companies intent on jumping on genre bandwagons? There are plenty of MMO's available. The same for FPS and "Gears of War" games. Why don't companies make a game that falls into a genre that isn't currently flooded? Why not make a WH40k game similar to Chaos Gate? A genre that isn't currently flooded and it will be a game that is close to the turn based board game it is based on. There would be so much untapped potential in a game like that. Or even Rites of War (which wasn't that great but still, something different) Why not go against the trend, take a risk or try to at least be original instead of turning out a clone of a clone of a clone dressed the guise of an "exciting new MMO/FPS/action" game?

dxBIGBOSSxb
dxBIGBOSSxb

@ChaosUndivided My biggest worry is that I hope it doesn't turn into FFXIV, a horrible MMO that not only sucked and was virtually unplayable for the first year it came out, but also hurt Square financially, costing them over 3 years of development time and 130+ million dollars.

PrinceOstrava
PrinceOstrava

Is it really viable to be making this right now? MMO's are very tricky to get right on the best of days but when THQ is cutting back 200+ jobs.....

Centurion95
Centurion95

Real shame, have alot of THQ games on shelf right now, really hope they can back on their feet and give us DOW3

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

...and obviously they would need to port their new MMO as well. Again, control schemes are plentiful. (Don't even bother with the "PC Games rule/consoles dr00l" arguments... Console $sales$ are the cash cow that give PC developers the resources they need to continue creating excellence. ...but porting from console to PC is a hate-crime, I agree, yadda yadda).

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

....so.... If they need money, just port both complete "Gold Box" 40K Dawn of War games (i.e., with all expansions) to 360! Ports don't cost *that* much to finance, and they would make more than enough to spearhead whatever other projects they need. (There have been multiple functional RTS control schemes developed for controllers -- I've played 'em all.)

SickHammer
SickHammer

@SergioMX man trust me i've played those games a lot,but they're pure clones and i really don't like that.warhammer has a big legened that starts in the 80s...but now all blizzard games aren't what they used to be.in the warhammer universe there is still a big big big potential

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@SirNormanislost Nope. That was . You know, the films. The only decent example anyone can come up with concerning the zerg is the Ravener (which looks just like a Hydralisk), but that was created after the first Starcraft was released, so close, but no cigar. That was GW's bad.

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

@parrot_of_adun Starcraft was originally meant to be a warhammer game but games workshop pulled the license so blizz tweaked the looks and names of the races and renamed the game starcraft

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

@Vlaimir_Lem86 Spacemarines = humans Eldar = elves Orcs = well orcs oddly enough Etc 40k is just a futuristic version of warhammer, warhammer like every other game (warcraft etc) take their inspiration from books such as lord of the rings but tolken got his inspiration from books etc he read growing up "When everything presented in their games, comes straight from their own lore?" the warhammer lore was written around orcs, elves, human etc but warhammer didn't create any of these races they are borrowed from all kinds of different sources so before calling someone a "moronic f***tard" maybe you should think first But you are correct about Starcraft originally being a warhammer game

StingrayA
StingrayA

All this being said it hasn't been made clear what THQ's exact plan is with the release. 40K MMO could be amazing but it's also a big risk. Who has said though its THQ taking all the risk? They could be using their leverage as being the IP holder to get another publisher to take most of the risk making it a possibly worthwhile venture for them. I don't know how an MMO would go in the current game industry, or wider economic climate though...

ChaosUndivided
ChaosUndivided

They will have more success expanding their RTS series or designing a successful singleplayer RPG. More expansions to Dawn of War 2 or a new series of RTS doesn't have to be Dawn of War 3. They have an entire universe to create games from.

Vlaimir_Lem86
Vlaimir_Lem86

@jordanj Are you fu***** dumb? Do a little research on Warhammer Fantasy lore.... Its a known fact that Starcraft was to use the Warhammer License... until about a year prior to its release. Blizzard got revoked to use the license, and changed a few things around. 10 minutes of research would show you the uncanny (and obvious) similarities. How does "warhammer games" take things from Lotro, aliens, dune etc etc. When everything presented in their games, comes straight from their own lore? If you mean, GAMEPLAY... well... look at any game released today, nothing is different than what was released 5+ years ago. FFS... would love to go one day without reading moronic, f***tard comments.

Vlaimir_Lem86
Vlaimir_Lem86

I have to agree with nearly all of the comment below (for the first time i think) They NEED to "can" this MMO... cut their losses and move on. With the track record of every MMO to release since 2008, it wouldnt look good for an MMO at this point. It would be entirely too risky, and like mentioned below... they dont have the funds. And if it flops... well... there goes THQ. I would die for an MMO based on 40k... i really would. But not with the ammount of risk involved.

MJ12-Conspiracy
MJ12-Conspiracy

They should shelve the MMO for now and do a RPG for consoles instead of sticking us with games like Fire Warrior and Space Marine. Eh, I guess this is why i'm saving up for a new PC...so I can get my hands on the Warhammer 40k RPG's.

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

The Emperor helps those who help them.....oh its THQ! nvm!

Seifer24
Seifer24

Well i see ea jumping on this one destroying another ip.

emperiox
emperiox

Don't do it THQ, you're already having losses...

RussianMeatClob
RussianMeatClob

They Should make an Inquisitor based single player RPG not another MMO.

kenmanius
kenmanius

Hope they're not trying to release another 80% finished mmo fail.

ArabrockermanX
ArabrockermanX

@nocoolnamejim Ya I dont think anybody gets that idea... Starhawk(ps3) although different from other games with its RTS aspect it looks and plays like most other shooters... I miss old school shooters :( .

bkohary
bkohary

How about they just do a Space Marine sequel with better graphics, more weapons which can be customised, more melee options, the chance to play as different factions, more varied maps with less empty travelling, an upgradable character in terms of movement and aim, an ability to command a squad of 4-5 soldiers, a GOW cover system, and a rainbow shooting unicorn?

firedrakes
firedrakes

if they did a mmo of space marine game. like video here it would be what i want to play. not like same old mmo

Spacemancer
Spacemancer

Definitely not a sure way to get money, especially since the MMO genre has Guild Wars 2 on the horizon grabbing all the attention. *cough* *cough* Homeworld 3, please, I'll write the entire story for you for free THQ :)

Ugotes
Ugotes

THQ has lost almost 1/3 of its stock value in after hours trading today. On top of that NASDAQ has already issued them a delisting notice if they can't get their stock above $1 by July 23. They really need to pull the plug on this MMO. They don't have the money to invest in this thing and if it bombs it will be curtains for THQ. :(

nurnberg
nurnberg

I think Warhammer 40 000 Online would be a very risky game on a financial point of view, especially for a struggling company like THQ. I mean, there is already a Warhammer mmo (Warhammer Online), and it's not very popular from what I have read (only 3 servers worldwide).

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@jordonj Mostly just Warcaft. Starcraft has about as much in common with Warhammer as Warhammer has with 1984...

Zartan3000
Zartan3000

Nooooo! This was the only MMO that I was actually looking forward to buying. This is lame....

Vambran
Vambran

Warhammer Online is pretty much dead now. Warhammer 40k might not even make it to release. They should just focus on those single player games instead.

jordonj
jordonj

Yes, Starcraft and Warcraft are derivative of the Warhammer games, but Warhammer games take things from The Lord of the Rings, Dune, Alien, and a lot of other things. Starcraft and Warcraft does what they do well. Yes, I agree that Space Marine was a disappointment, but I have little doubt they can pull it off...

SergioMX
SergioMX

@SickHammer Maybe so, but to call Starcraft and Warcraft "s#itty" is stupid and you probably haven't played them. At least Blizz is consistent with their games, Warhammer online got old fast, Space Marine was a huge disappointment and DoW Retribution was meh. I'm a huge fan of the table top game, but their video games lately have been 'meh'. Plus, pretty much anything that has to do with fantasy has been ripped one way or another with Tolkien's works, and other older novels.

jimbob1991
jimbob1991

As much as I would KILL for a 40k MMO, this game is dead.

SickHammer
SickHammer

i'm bored with W:Age Of Reckoning...i want this! -_- i'm so shocked that people play that s#itty warcraft and starcraft and not games based on the Warhammer Universe blizzard just remade the whole warhammer universe and cut it in 3 pieces warcraft,diablo and starcraft...

FreedomPrime
FreedomPrime

If this mmo is a 3rd person shooter then it will have a better chance. WOW clones are are lame and we need something fresh.

nocoolnamejim
nocoolnamejim moderator

Here's some help to pretty much every damned gaming company out there: Stop trying to do what everybody else is doing. That means if EVERYONE is targeting social gamers, then make a singleplayer only game. If everyone is doing MMO games, then make a traditional RPG. If everyone is going casual, then make a game geared towards core gamers. Maybe I'm just a curmudgeonly old fart who gets too worked up about these things, but I don't honestly understand what's so complicated about the concept that there's lots of different types of gamers out there and the best way for a company to be profitable is market segmentation. Yes, shooters are cheaper to make than RPGs. But that doesn't matter if ten different companies are making the next shooter and only one is making an RPG. Similarly, if you hit the jackpot and get the next WoW game, you've got a great, long running revenue stream. But if you fail then you've got costly mess on your hands when you swing and miss. Which means that despite the available upside of an MMO game being higher than any other game type, the risk and downside is also way higher. MMOs are very expensive to make and unless you really land a major hit that has a large number of people subscribing for a significant amount of time, you might as well be flushing your money down the toilet.

gix47
gix47

thought this was dead..and done..THQ not giving up the ghost i guess but from following this from the begining its best to let it go and work on something new for War4k,imo

Cobra5
Cobra5

Aw man come on. I was really looking forward to this, but seriously, this can only mean it goes downhill.

fogopop
fogopop

It looks like THQ needs more help than any MMO can give them.