When it launched for the PC in 2008, Warhammer Online didn't make the World of Warcraft-sized crater in the massively multiplayer online role-playing market that EA was undoubtedly hoping for. THQ is next to try its hand with Games Workshops' grim war-torn universe in the MMOG space, though it will do so in the far-future Warhammer 40,000 timeline.
As part of its quarterly earnings report yesterday, THQ president and CEO Brian Farrell said that gamers will get their first glance at the Warhammer 40K MMOG as part of the 2010 Electronic Entertainment Expo. This year's show will descend upon the Los Angeles Convention Center from June 15-17.
Announced in February 2007, THQ's Warhammer 40K MMOG is being handled by Vigil Games, the Austin, Texas-based studio behind last month's well-received Darksiders. THQ has been tight lipped about the game, though it is known that development is led by former NCsoft director David Adams.
Farrell's promise to deliver more information on the Warhammer 40K MMOG came as part of a broader discussion on THQ's prospects in digital revenue over the company's upcoming fiscal years.
"The highest ranking revenue opportunity for us clearly is the Warhammer 40K MMO," Farrell told analysts and investors. "But we think we will have a very competitive MMO, and as you know, one of the big wins there is when you're successful with those properties, you have a long life on both revenues and cash flows. It's not just one or two years. It could go five, six, seven years. That is probably the biggest opportunity."
Farrell also confirmed that THQ plans to eventually bring Relic's Company of Heroes Online to western markets. First announced for the Chinese market in 2007, the game is essentially the online component of Relic's highly regarded WWII real-time strategy series. Gamers can compete in both cooperative and competitive combat missions. The game also features a stat-tracking system, and players are able to rank up from private to general.
THQ's free-to-play, microtransaction-supported online model will also extend to its top-selling WWE franchise--in Asia, at least. Farrell confirmed that it plans to launch WWE Online in Korea this year, with other Asian regions to follow.