Warhammer Online Cancelled


— Alan

Didn’t see the news, but is this a case of them running out of development money or deciding that the game wasn’t coming along very well or that the MMO market wouldn’t support the game?

Warhammer games sure have had a checkered history on the PC.

Actually it appears the licensing company, Games Workshop pulled the license from them.

I wonder if they were worried that people would stop spending a fortune on figurines?

Actually it appears the licensing company, Games Workshop pulled the license from them.

Wow, where’d you see that? Not disputing it, just curious. That sounds pretty dire. Can anyone remember another time when the license holder yanked the plug, rather than the developer/publisher? I’m sure it’s happened before, but where?

Good. The last thing the world needs is another MMO.


I was just browsing the screenshots on Gamespot this morning, before the news was posted. I was thinking (as others have remarked) that the graphics were still looking pretty poor. The developers didnt seem to have a very good sense of color. The character models were pretty iffy as well. Somehow it didnt seem ‘Warhammer’ enough.

That must have been pretty painful financially to GW, all those years of development. Does anyone know if GW was bankrolling the whole thing? Time to raise prices on the figures!

I also noticed this morning that there is going to be a 2nd edition of the pen and paper Warhammer roleplaying game. Im long since past roleplaying, but the first edition of that game was pretty awesome…

If the license was pulled, does that mean that GW is serious about protecting their product image?

From the GW website:

Today we have made the following announcement to our shareholders:

“Games Workshop Group PLC (“the Company”) announces that its board has resolved to terminate its online gaming development project. This decision was taken following a full review of the progress, costs to date and future costs of the project. As a result both the Company and Climax Development Limited, the computer games developer, have agreed to terminate the development project."

The online team has been working for some time to prepare a detailed project report which examines the current status of this project, the work still to be completed, how long the game will take to finish and to get it to market, and how much all this is expected to cost. The board has reviewed this report and has decided that the team’s reassessment of the project shows that it is more risky and very much more expensive than expected and therefore no longer attractive enough for us to continue to commit the group’s resources. While the opportunity to have an online game set in a Games Workshop universe still looks very exciting, this project was always a step into the unknown. We now know much more about online games than when we began this venture, but there remain substantial risks associated with this project, and the potential future rewards are still uncertain.

We will be winding down the project immediately, although a small, specialized team will continue to examine whether online games remain a serious business opportunity for Games Workshop.

Let us all remember that this project was well worth while, and it very nearly worked. No-one involved should feel despondent. It was a valiant effort. Gallantry does not always lead to success.

  • Tom Kirby


It sounds like GW was funding it also. They were probably looking at a lot of future outlay still to finish the game and diminishing returns in a saturated MMO market. They were probably smart to can it.

The MMOs are really dropping dead, aren’t they? True Fantasy Online, Mythica, Warhammer Online…who can blame them? I don’t think it’s a case of the market being able to accomodate more MMOs as much as it’s likely that the market is just going to pick a few winners and the rest will twist in the wind with small player bases.

You also have to wonder how these now-deceased MMO projects were sold to the money people. Were the difficulties and costs soft-peddaled and low-balled (arent’ they always?) to the extent that the development people knew they would skyrocket later but hoped to be at such a milestone by then that the funders would have little choice but to sustain development? Or is that too cynical, and it’s probably just plain old underestimation of difficulties and costs?

Well who knows - it can be a combination of things.

In Mythica’s case, it could be the mix of the lawsuit, too many projects going on, slow development, little potential subscriber room, etc.

In Warhammer Online… lack of development/technology, unable to meet goals, etc.

It’s refreshing to see companies axe games in development like this, but in a way it’s bad to see them go. It could be companies finally being more responsible about development, which is a good thing. Just sad to see it happen.

— Alan

Steve Jackson Games pulled the GURPS license from Fallout. Probably a good thing overall, since it forced BIS to create the SPECIAL system.

Maybe GW needed to free up funds to sue the makers of Chaos League… ;)

And it’s not even going to be D20!

Exactly as I imagined, more on the “horizon”.

As Mark said, it seems like there’s at least one mmog finacial backer with a sound business sense, to bad it will cost jobs and the loss of one of the slightly original titles out there.

GW should have stuck with the original plan and made an mmog version of their most popular licenses as they are. That is gone the Wizards of the Coast route and implemented their rules in an online game, made at matchmaking service and make people buy virtuel miniatures.
If they did that without the ridiculous pricing scheme that WoTC adobted, they could have made a bundle.

the only original part of warhammer online was the magic system afaik…

A couple of years ago this would have depressed me, but I find I don’t care anymore. I think I’ve burned out on MMORPGs and don’t expect much anymore. (I’ll probably still try WOW at some point, but…)

It’s sad to see so much work down the drain, though.

The MMOG market is well and truly saturated. The same herd of MMO gamers simply move from one to the next whenever a new MMOG is released.

This shouldn’t be surprising. At least someone with a cool head decided to cancel it before they lost too much money.