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Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online is now just plain old Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium

THQ has announced it's dropping the MMO elements of its next Warhammer 40k title, Dark Millennium Online, reports Game Informer. Announced some five years ago, the then-Warhammer 40,000 Online was intended as an action MMO by Darksiders II developers Vigil Games. However, citing “changing market dynamics and the additional investment required to complete the game as an MMO,” CEO Brian Farrell today announced the company would be shifting the title's focus to “a premium experience with single and multiplayer gameplay.” Oh, and canning 118 employees who'd been working on the title.

The Warhammer 40K MMO "is going to be a masterpiece," promised THQ's Danny Bilson back in 2010, saying the game would be a success if only (ahem) 1,000,000 WoW players made the jump to Dark Millennium. However, a string of misses such as Red Faction: Armageddon and uDraw saw the company's fortunes sink, and 2012 began with a grim rumor: THQ up for sale. The company responded with layoffs and peppy press statements, admitting a project of Dark Millennium's scale would likely require outside assistance to complete.

When a further dire rumor (THQ lays off 170+) was confirmed, bringing with it the news that tech VP Mark DeLoura was among the latest round of casualties, THQ admitted it would be announcing some 240 layoffs by March. With the company's online and MMO infrastructure having been overseen by the departing DeLoura, it seemed more and more unlikely that a project of Dark Millennium's size and shape would see completion, and today's news confirms that. The game's refocusing means THQ has laid off 79 full-time Vigil employees and another 39 at Relic Entertainment.

“We believe strongly in the high-quality and vast creative work that is in production [on Dark Millennium],” said Farrell today: “this is the right decision for both our portfolio and for gamers devoted to this powerful property.” Games Workshop licensing head Jon Gillard said the Warhammer 40k owner was “genuinely excited” about the game's new direction. Platform and release details will be forthcoming later, THQ promises.

8 comments

  • dan-nemalive-rutski - April 26, 2012 8:11 a.m.

    Im glad they are still going to salvage their hard work into a sp experience....hopefully we will see it on other platforms too like space marine better on xbox than i did on the PC so good news overall imo
  • daniel-scott - March 29, 2012 11:18 p.m.

    Mixed feelings. I have played an mmo, but I was planning on this because I love the Warhammer 40k universe. There is so much that can use, all down the drain. But maybe it wont be so bad, they can still have the classes and character creation and story in single player. Still a day one purchase.
  • Shinn - March 29, 2012 4:58 p.m.

    I love TOR, and it was hard enough for me to pay for an mmo I love, so I wasn't looking forward to choosing between these two. Relic really needs a safe bet right now, Space Marine and the DOW series are brilliant games, but they have never sold as well as they deserved to. I think this is a smart move, and this game has just become a day one purchase for me. Anyway, in all honesty, most of the appeal of an mmo could be captured with 8+ player co op.
  • onetimebuster - March 29, 2012 4:27 p.m.

    Very sad news.
  • ThundaGawd - March 29, 2012 4:23 p.m.

    Ouch, I was actually looking forward to this, with lore as expansive as that of the Warhammer 40K universe, it could have been amazing, especially with classes like Psykers, Techpriests, Marines, and races like Orks, Eldar, Chaos, Tau, etc... Oh well T_T
  • Pwnz0r3d - March 29, 2012 3:48 p.m.

    A Warhammer 40K MMO sounded like an incredible idea. Running around as a Technopriest or Blood Angel would've been incredible. Shame.
  • ObliqueZombie - March 29, 2012 3:37 p.m.

    This is sad... THQ produces some good games. It's sad to see them going down the shitter. And I was really, REALLY excited for this one! With Warhammer being as expansive as it is, it was a good fit for an MMO. Let's hope they can capture the size of and atmosphere of the 40k battles, since Space Marine was pretty confined. I have faith this game can still be as amazing as I dreamed it would be.
  • Voodoowolfe - March 29, 2012 5:26 p.m.

    Yeah I also was just waiting to hear more on this one. I heard a lot about there being all these stories and scripts to go with it. Shame now. Also, I agree wholeheartedly with the size of 40k battles. I want to see a company of space marines holding the line in the face of an ork horde that is so massive that it covers the landscape. Or Imperial guardsmen taking on the Tau. Massive battles with quality story is what I was hoping. Now though...

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