Company Of Heroes Online Closing?

By Jim Rossignol on February 1st, 2011 at 9:13 pm.


A news post on the Company Of Heroes Online website contains this message from Relic: “After an exciting period of operating and testing, we will be closing Open Beta on March 31, 2011 to evaluate the next steps for the Company of Heroes series.” Sounds pretty final. Any cash spent in the game can be used up to that point, and anyone who registered with the game before February 1st can get Company Of Heroes: Gold Edition for $4.99. The message signs off: “We are excited to reveal the next evolution of the series in the near future.”

I shall try to find out a bit more information, but this is starting to look like one free-to-play experiment that didn’t quite work out.

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44 Comments »

  1. Duality says:

    To be honest, I expect most people interested in Company of Heroes probably bought it and it’s expansions at retail.

    I never did play the online F2P version, because I had the original retail game.

    • Navagon says:

      Same here. Like most of THQ’s games, the price was dropped to nothing in no time at all. Anyone interested would have been able to snap it up for a few quid.

  2. Daiv says:

    Perhaps it’s a touch too easy to play without paying? I played heavily for a while and I never once felt the temptation to shell out.

    • Daniel Klein says:

      I don’t think the secret to F2P is “make people feel like they have to shell out money”. I’m not sure if there is a secret to F2P, but if there is, that isn’t it.

      (As far as I can tell, the best approach seems to be “make a game that’s actually great fun to play and demonstrate to your players that you’re in it for the long run”.)

    • trjp says:

      The secret to F2P is to offer ‘shortcuts’ for cash – non-essential but useful to save you slogging away.

      Oh – that and clothing and horses and other shit which suckers buy (see 360 Avatar Marketplace!!) :)

    • heartlessgamer says:

      League of Legends does very well with their F2P model that is pretty much only for cosmetic or personal advancement choices. A player is never forced to pony up, but the game drives a spirit of pride and competition that makes players want to shell out and differentiate themselves. LoL is making serious bank last time I checked.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      trjp: I judge people in my Friends list hard on the Xbox if they’ve bought items for their avatar. The people are clearly too stupid to be allowed near money. Buying imaginary items for your imaginary representation. Idiocy.

      Only items mine has is those accrued over games and freebie codes off the net. Never spent a cent on some idiot avatar item. Never will.

    • adonf says:

      @trjp “suckers”

      Here we call them “drunks”

  3. Mr_Hands says:

    I played a bit of COHO with a friend. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but I also never looked at any of the microtransactions. I also picked up COH on steam for peanuts a while back, so while this is a bit of a bummer, I’m not really that upset about it.

  4. DarkFenix says:

    What did CoH Online actually offer that its conventional predecessors didn’t? I have CoH plus expansions so never had the slightest interest in CoH Online; I saw it as basically the same game, but I’d have to play to unlock things I already had in CoH.

  5. Neuromante says:

    31 March is the day before of the 1st of april.

    Baking something?

    • subedii says:

      Yeah I’m thinking this is more likely what GOG did, coming out of beta. Colour me unconvinced, especially given the language.

    • GenBanks says:

      The fact that you can’t buy Coho cash between now and March 31st would make it an expensive stunt…

    • Alegis says:

      31 March is also …. the last day of March.

      Which would give players exactly 2 months to spend their current coho cash (and not buy new ones).
      I wouldn’t read into it.

  6. Alethron says:

    I have had the retail CoH for years, but have been enjoying COHO a LOT recently. I like the hero units and the fact that it is MUCH MUCH MUCH easier for me to connect and find a game (I used to have router NAT issues all the time with vanilla COH). As with a number of other people, I haven’t spent any real world cash on the game, I wonder how many people actually did.

    Sad to see that it seems to be going.

    • GenBanks says:

      Yeah same here!
      I have all the vcoh games but love Coho.
      Heroes, and the XP progression/unlock system kept me coming back.

      Sad day :(

  7. Stellar Duck says:

    Either they are closing or they are taking a page from the Book of GoG. :P

  8. trooperdx3117 says:

    Looks like following in GoG’s footsteps of course then again COHO wasnt really that great and seemed pointless what with there being a normal company of heroes

  9. GenBanks says:

    Man… this is really upsetting. I’ve spent loads and loads of time playing Coho in the last few months. It’ll be annoying going back to Vcoh and being without my heroes, nice items and extra commander abilities.

    I can only hope that they’re ending the beta so that they can start something even better :(

  10. Alexander Norris says:

    I don’t know, “we will be closing Open Beta on March 31, 2011 to evaluate the next steps for the Company of Heroes series” sounds more like “we’re closing to relaunch after a little bit,” otherwise why specify it was an open beta?

  11. Heliocentric says:

    I found COHO to be the greater experience.

    They should never have taken money off people though, not if it had a sword of damocles ruining all the flavour.

    I hope they port many of the learned things into future/past games.

  12. Isometric says:

    If this means Relic will go back to making single player COH games then I’m all for it.

  13. icheyne says:

    I tried to play it but ran into two problems.

    1. The game took over 48 hours to download.
    2. The tutorial was broken. My men refused to follow my orders. I gave up after that.

    • cliffski says:

      I gave up downloading after 3 days.
      If you wanyt someone to download a demo, you host it on a fast server. You don;’t force them to run a crappy p2p client and sit through 2k/s downloads, and use up their upload bandwidth. Screw that.
      I am a huge COH fan, and never got around to even installing COHO, because they were too tight assed to pay for bandwidth.
      And making the downlaod so stupidly huge didn’t help matters.
      Great game, managed really really really really badly by the publisher…

    • FriendlyFire says:

      Funny that, I had a 2-3 mb/s download speed. Yes, it’s a hefty download, but it isn’t that bad (there are definitely even worse games out there). It might’ve been down to bad luck or whatever, but I felt like the servers were plenty fast.

    • Bonedwarf says:

      Companies using P2P are out of line, especially now we’ve had the anvil dropped on us in Canada regarding usage.

      Downloading big titles like WOW, Dragon Age etc… Is a thing of the past.

    • Heliocentric says:

      If you had regular Coh installed then Coho would steal 95% of its files from there. Not useful if you dont obviously.

  14. Xocrates says:

    I went to the COHO forums to see if there was any official confirmation if it was the end of just the beta or if they were going to kill the game altogether. It seems to be the latter unless they’re pulling some really heavy Obi-wan “depending on the point of view” bullshit:

    Quote from Relic rep from this thread (5 posts from top): http://www.companyofheroes.com/forums/community-news-feed/topics/company-of-heroes-online-beta-closing-03-31?page=4

    “Yes. After March 31st there is no more CoHO. People who were registered to play CoHO before TODAY, can buy the retail game for $4.99 if they want, but it’s the retail game and not CoHO. The retail game is being patched, and that is to continue.”

    • Delusibeta says:

      Yep, looks like it’s GG for CoHO. Also, lol at anyone expecting a refund for their virtual items.

      Also, yay shiny new edit box that’s far easier to use.

  15. Arathain says:

    Oh. Well, that’s a shame. I’d just started playing this, and despite having played very little online RTS previously I’ve been enjoying myself a lot. I’m even winning some games!

    Given the amount of work that has gone into the whole thing, what with the customising army cards and hero units it would seem very odd to just discard the whole thing.

  16. safetydank says:

    I found it hard to go back to the low end graphics and play with unit restrictions. Only finished a couple of matches before returning to Opposing Fronts.

  17. Diziet Sma says:

    It clearly means they are closing open beta. It says it:

    “we will be closing Open Beta on March 31, 2011″

    What comes after open beta except release.

    • TheTingler says:

      This is what I got from it as well. Surely that’s obvious?

    • Arathain says:

      Take a quick look at the forum thread linked above. There are a couple of posts on the first two pages by Relic employees confirming the worst.

  18. DrGonzo says:

    I think it’s the “to evaluate the next steps for the Company of Heroes series.” Bit, and “We are excited to reveal the next evolution of the series in the near future” which does sound a little suspicious.

    EDIT- Reply fail. That was meant to be directed at Diziet Sma

  19. Frosty840 says:

    I’m afraid I was that guy on the CoHO forums for a while, so some of the long-term CoHO players might recognise this rant, but at the end of the day it was the terrible implementation of the heroes that killed the game for me.

    You’d get a cool, shiny hero unit, but it would be given to you as a level 1 unit, meaning that it was an absolute goddamn liability, so then you’d have to spend ten or fifteen games in the singleplayer, spending tedious, tedious time focusing on levelling up that one unit, pissing away your charges, and then when you got them onto the field they immediately and completely broke the game because they were massively more powerful than everything else out there.

    I suggested pasting them on top of the existing levelling system, having them come onto the field as what was essentially a normal unit, level them up automatically over the course of the game, and adding bonus XP for the things other units generally got XP for. I still say it would’ve made the game a hell of a lot more interesting and balanced, though I doubt it would’ve saved it from the fact that the whole experience simply wasn’t set up to work as a free-to-play.

    CoHO was full of relentlessly smurfing four-year veterans, though, so all of the 1v1 was rape, and all of the other games were the usual godawful mess that is any RTS where you’re forced to rely on other people…

    Oh well, vanilla-CoH patch ahoy and back to the Eastern Front for me.

  20. doolwind says:

    I’ve written up a brief summary of the situation with the facts gathered from the CoHO site and forums. You can find it here

  21. Ba5 says:

    Downloading this game took me 3 days of keeping the computer turned on non-stop.

    After finally being able to play, a squad of my pioneers and volks (both full health) in green cover got killed by a lone squad of hero engineers. That was in no cover at all.

    No balance at all in this game, glad it’s getting cancelled so they can focus on CoH patches again.

  22. banski83 says:

    How about some Homeworld 3 or Online now then, eh, Relic?

  23. Ginger Yellow says:

    Am I missing something? Who gives a damn about CoHO? I give a damn about CoH and especially: “We are excited to reveal the next evolution of the series in the near future.” Does this not imply at least a new expansion and possibly a sequel? Given that they’ve gone to the bother of finally patching most of the 2.601 bugs/balance issues, it seems pretty likely. Is this not something to be excited about?

    • Werthead says:

      I’m actually hoping for official recognition of EASTERN FRONT, along with a single-player campaign for it, all released as an official expansion by Relic with the news that the modders have received a truckload of cash.

  24. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Company of Heroes 2 anyone?

  25. doolwind says:

    With their quarterly shareholder meeting coming up soon this bad news could be offset with some awesome news (Homeworld 3 or CoH 2)