Warhammer 40K MMO Speculation
I'm not at all sure why the Warhammer 40k MMO has managed to grab my imagination, but it seems to have snuck in there. I've not played much of the 40k miniatures games - although like pretty nearly any gamer, I've bought a few, and painted them badly - but nevertheless, I dreamt last night of epic MMO battles, with Titans, Chapter Librarians, those Eldar Scooter things, and all the other paraphernalia of the setting. Maybe it was the beer, I don't know.
So, the Warhammer 40k rules are being turned into a full on MMO by THQ (who did the rather excellent strategy game in the same setting, Dawn of War) in partnership with Vigil Games. THQ have a wide range of games on various platforms and in various genres under their belts, but Vigil are more of an unknown quantity - despite being acquired by THQ last year, they have no releases to their name, and at present, their site only says that they're working on the Warhammer 40k game, and "A totally original property for next-gen systems - expected to be announced later this year" - which could be anything from vapourware up. THQ presumably know what they're at, though.
The questions foremost in my mind concern what the game is going to be like. You'd be forgiven for guessing that it'll be heavy on the strategic and tactical combat, given the rest of the franchises, but I'm not wholly convinced on that - MMOs need to cater to more than just the tactics geeks. And while they have a bit of a gap in the market caused by the fact that there's no really good science fiction MMO at the moment, except the rather specialist EVE, I'm not sure that the genre is going to make a lot of difference. Even the RTS fans are already playing WoW, and it'll take something spectacular to get someone to abandon a level 70 character decked out in epic bling for a new game.
So what they've really got to do is pull out the stops, and try to make the step to a third-generation MMO. They have a franchise that it's worth doing it for, and I think it'd be an awful pity if they went the Lord of the Rings Online route, and produced a polished, setting-faithful, but ultimately still second-generation game.
Posted by Drew Shiel at March 9, 2007 9:08 AM