Warhammer 40,000 game license extended

THQ, Games Workshop renew long-standing exclusive agreement in "multi-year" deal for sci-fi franchise, which has sold 6.5 million units to date.

With Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine due out this summer and Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online still in development, THQ has plenty of Warhammer 40,000 titles in the works. However, that didn't stop the Santa Monica-based publisher from today announcing it had extended its licensing deal for the intellectual property with IP creator Games Workshop.

Today's deal paves the way for more Warhammer 40,000 games from THQ.

Details on the Warhammer 40,000 extension were vague beyond the fact it was a "multi-year deal" that gives THQ exclusive rights to publish games based on the IP. The agreement covers the full gamut of platforms, including mobile, social, and core games.

Though it began life as a tabletop war game in the 1980s, the Warhammer 40,000 series has found success in the video game realm. After Strategic Simulations (SSI) released several games based on the franchise in the 1990s, THQ took over the IP in 2001. After the poorly reviewed shooter Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior shipped in 2003, the publisher shifted focus to real-time strategy titles. To date, that series, including the just-released critical hit Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution, has sold 6.5 million units to date.

Starting this year, THQ is looking to once again expand the Warhammer 40,000 series outside the RTS genre with Space Marine, an action role-playing game for the PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360 from internal developer Relic (Retribution). That expansion will continue with the massively multiplayer role-playing game Dark Millennium Online, currently in the works at Vigil Games (Darksiders). That project, however, has yet to receive a release date.

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