THQ Not Chucked Out of Games Workshop

'License *this*, alien scum!'

This is a bit “some men have paid some money to some other men”, but given the general tendency towards 40K gonkery around these parts it’s worth a nod. THQ have just announced that they’ve arranged to hang onto the rights to Warhammer 40,000 for a few more years yet. This means we’ll see more Only War-based games from THQ (including social and mobile ones; let’s hope the former doesn’t mean TyranidVille) after the upcoming Space Marine and the MMO Dark Millennium have been and gone. Licences for the licence god!

Is this is a good thing? I should say so. Relic’s Dawn of War series may have had a few wobbles, but for the most part they’ve done excellent things with the licence. The proof of the grim future pudding will be in Space Marine and Dark Millennium, I guess – it’s yet to be truly established how well the IP sits with different genres. Unless you’re a Fire Warrior fan. I’ll just leave that there.

Of course, this deal may mean other THQ (or even contracted third parties) studios get to play with our beloved 41st millennium, as was the slightly unfortunate case with Iron Lore and the final Dawn of War 1 expansion Soulstorm, but hopefully quality control is intact across the board.

Here are some quotes on the subject from important people, which were doubtless edited, tweaked and approved by a series of less important men before being made public. That’s business!

THQ’s emperor Brian Farrell:

“The complex, futuristic war-torn universe created by Games Workshop equipped THQ’s award-winning development teams with the material to create one of the most loved PC franchises – Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War. Our envisioning of the Warhammer 40,000 universe will continue to grow with top quality games across all platforms, including the upcoming launches of Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium Online.”

Games Workshop’s god-king Mark Wells:

“The impressive translation of the Warhammer 40,000 universe from the tabletop to the video game space by THQ certainly highlights the potential of our most successful intellectual property in the right hands. We know that the depth of the storylines, characters and imagery of the Warhammer 40,000 universe positions the IP to excel across many media platforms – and extending our agreement with THQ will help ensure that Warhammer 40,000 maintains a strong and growing presence in the video game space.”

I’d love to go to video game space. It’s like real space, but with more colours.


  1. Wednesday says:

    Tyrannidville would be fantastic. Imagine the possibilities for cross-series fun. You could slaughter and consume your facebook friend’s farmville farms.

    • Nalano says:

      I approve this message.

    • feffrey says:

      I would actually get a facebook account if I could do that.

    • bob_d says:

      Yeah seriously. My first thought upon reading “TyranidVille” was, “I’d play that. Whatever it is.”

    • manveruppd says:

      Imagine the status updates.
      “You have found Tyranid spores on your corn patch! Your corn now glows fluorescent blue. Click here to share the Tyranid infestation with your friends!”

    • luphisto says:

      “You could slaughter and consumer your facebook friend’s farmville farms.”
      A million times this!

    • Radiant says:

      I would play the shit out of Tyranidville.
      “Eldars and Space marines are fighting in your infestation! Harvest them.”

    • sasayan says:

      I think OrkTown could be could be even better. Raise the meanest, ugliest snots n’ grots! Build a Wurkshop so the meks and build trukks! Gather enough boyz to start a Waaagh! and loot other players! Shiny bitz!

    • bleeters says:

      I’ll take a third person dance/riddle/slice-apart-their-insides-’em-up Harlequin themed game, myself.

    • Bilbo says:

      I was just thinking, Tyranidville? I would *so* play that.

  2. sokkur says:

    Good to hear!

  3. Hunam says:

    Warhammer 40K is something THQ seem to do right.

    Even if it is at the expense of Homeworld.

    I want some more fucking Homeworld damn it!

    • skurmedel says:

      They could make a kind of Homeworld with the Battlefleet Gothic stuff, if they have this licensed as well.

    • Space_Masters says:

      What is so great about Homeworld aside from its difficult controls and pretty graphics? Flying over or under other ships didn’t seem to have much of an effect mechanically. There is no terrain or obstacles to use to your advantage or opponent’s disadvantage. Can’t even hide inside nebulae. It looks cool, and has a neat idea, but it is the equivalent of an RTS with no terrain features and no unit collision.

    • coldvvvave says:

      It had a pretty gripping story, music and atmosphere.

    • Koozer says:

      Psst, you can hide inside dust clouds.

    • Wednesday says:

      Dunno about Homeworld, but Homeworld 2 I adored, and was genuinely tactical.

      I once got my battlecruiser out of a tight spot by angling a climb in such a way that my enemies couldn’t bring their guns to bare properly.

  4. DainIronfoot says:

    40k RPG please. Just read the Eisenhorn books, so something to do with the inquisitors please. In both the nutty war bits and the more domestic bits.

    • Maykael says:

      I just read the first one and saw the RPG right there. Instead of a good/evil meter, you’d get a puritan/radical/corrupted meter. Best space RPG since KOTOR if handled well.

    • zergrush says:

      Third that.

      I’ve been DMing some Dark Heresy sessions and its easily one of the best settings / systems I’ve played. A Mass Effect style shoot and talk would be quite cool.

    • P4p3Rc1iP says:

      The Revenor series could add a nice twist to the GM/player concept. Could be done really cool in an RPG too.

    • Moses Wolfenstein says:

      Yes, this definitely!

      For the love of the god emperor people at THQ need to read Dan Abnett and then pull him down to help write an inquisitor action/rpg . . . or for that matter an imperial guard game of some sort.

    • DainIronfoot says:

      I must get on to the Ravenor series, if only to find out how exactly they make a floating chair a protagonist in such a dangerous universe. Dangerous retinue I guess.

      Ye gods, it really would work well wouldn’t it.

      On the subject of those books I, like the author, thought it was very interesting to see the more domestic side of the universe. A place where people could actually live rather than simply dying in various ways. Actually made it slightly believable when it talked about how to most citizens of the imperium have only ever heard rumours of the horrific stuff going on in the borderworlds.

    • Moses Wolfenstein says:

      If you haven’t read Ravenor you really must. The writing is actually way tighter than Eisenhorn, the long arc more clearly defined (with a great pay-off), and it has the potential to be absolutely outstanding source material for a great game (although I’d rather see original characters in a new game). Abnett has also teased a third series picking up the thread on both characters

      One final thought on the dark heresy setting is that space marines are generally pretty boring, monolithic characters. They can be great for a story about slaughtering orcs, but really limited for any kind of character development. Inquisitors and their retinues on the other hand have all kinds of potential. I suppose rogue traders do as well.

    • Temple to Tei says:

      @ Moses
      Haven’t read the later ones yet, but Crossfire was the first 40K novel that made me think ‘oh, so people actually live there’.
      link to

      Not sure how much fluff you know, but in relation to normal lives I come from a time when anyone who even knew about chaos was executed to remove temptation (After beating back chaos, natch) and even Space Marines get mind wiped (and grey knights were the bestest models evar)
      Now I’m reading Dark Creed and apparently there are entire Imperium sub-sectors dedicated to fighting Chaos.
      Guess you can’t have your biggest seller being a niche enemy.
      The book is actually quite good though :)

    • Bankei says:

      I think I read somewhere that Dan Abnett is actually writing the setting for the WH40K MMO… I would be very pleased if this is true. I’ve also taken some time to enjoy Graham McNeil.

      I agree that a video game based on the Inquisition would be fantastic. The Eisenhorn/Ravenor series was just great. I really hope he writes the Patience Kys series :D

    • JB says:

      @DainIronfoot – An psychically powerful floating chair you mean? =)

    • Teddy Leach says:

      I’d just like to say that Eisenhorn was amazing and I reread it at least once every year. I would KILL for an RPG about the Inquisition.

    • DainIronfoot says:


      Well there is that I guess, I suppose it just wasn’t shown how deadly that could be in combat in the final Eisenhorn book. I will definitely get my paws on the Ravenor books soon!

    • DarkFenix says:

      I would love an RPG in this setting, pretty sure it’s not been done.

      @Moses: If you’re bored by the usual character (of lack thereof) of space marines, perhaps check out some of the Horus Heresy series of books, those are quite at odds with the regular 40k novels in that the space marine characters are rather more human. None of them will ever be a Ravenor or Eisenhorn, but they’re an improvement.

      @Bankei: Graham McNeill (I think it was anyway) wrote the backstory to Warhammer Online, that didn’t turn out so great.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      YHEESSS!!! AMEN!

      Go forth children and spread the word that this game WILL BE DONE.

      The second coming! (after KOTORs) That is my prophecy!

    • Moses Wolfenstein says:

      @DarkFenix Good point about the Horus Heresy (which has also kicked some serious arse, just started Age of Darkness yesterday). There are definitely a few astartes with some depth of character (and of course there’s a lot going on with the primarchs). Abnett also did a good job with that in Brothers of the Snake, but they’re still a little limited compared to the characters who aren’t genhanced super soldiers (some of the remembrancers for instance).

  5. mandrill says:

    Epic Scale RTS (Or maybe stay true to the tabletop and make it turn based) I want Titans and other improbably huge war machines. And Squats, bring back the Squats.

    • bob_d says:


    • Jake says:

      Yes this would be the best thing. A new Final Liberation type game with battle companies of Space Marines and formations of super-heavy tanks rolling around. And then a Horus Heresy expansion pack: a siege on the Emperor’s Palace with titans assaulting the walls while primarchs duel in the breaches.

      (I very nearly said ‘breeches’, thank god for google).

  6. Icarus says:

    Space. Space. Gotta go to space. Space space space.

    • subedii says:

      Somehow I figured it wouldn’t take long for that to become the next Meme.

    • Icarus says:

      Going to space was specifically mentioned and I thought I’d cheapen myself by making the obvious reply.

  7. Maykael says:

    Battlefleet Gothic RTS would be nice!

    • P4p3Rc1iP says:

      Kinda like Homeworld?!

    • Maykael says:

      Exactly! :) Closest thing to Homeworld Relic could do without angering the idiot shareholders.

    • Xocrates says:

      Relic would anger the shareholders by making another entry in an IP they created and THQ bought years ago?

  8. drakkheim says:

    Space Hulk remake plz!

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Yes indeed!

      The variety of possibilities from the 40K setting are quite tremendous.

      Actually, I’d quite like a 40K game in the style of Jagged Alliance 2, if that were possible.

      And a 40K RTS, and an RPG, and so forth…

    • zergrush says:

      Squad Command for PSP is a quite decent turn-based thingy. It’s a portable console game and nowhere near the depth of Jagged Alliance, but it’s fun for some quick multiplayer matches.

      A Jagged Alliance-like Necromunda game would be uber-cool.

    • Ovno says:

      “A Jagged Alliance-like Necromunda game would be uber-cool.”

      OMG Win!!!!

      I want that soooo much

  9. Dowson says:

    Hopefully they’ll do the dream and create a Battlefield 40K edition.

    Im sure THQ must have some good FPS or TPS developers.

  10. Aedrill says:

    Necrons, for crying out loud! Why everyone seems to forget about Necrons?

  11. Twilightx says:

    seeing this discussion, there’s 24 comments and at least 30 requests. I seriously doubt THQ can EVER fulfill expectations even partially :))

    • DainIronfoot says:

      As long as they do SOMETHING with a cool license. Space Marine looks cool and the Dawn of War series has been great so far. Dark Millennium looks pretty blech though, so another iron in the fire would be great.

  12. manveruppd says:

    I actually think GW are acting like Luddites with their lisencing. They should be looking to develop their various IPs themselves and retain closer control over individual projects rather than just farm out the exclusive rights FOR A WHOLE UNIVERSE to a publisher for a lump sum!

    THQ did some good things with 40k, but the fact is that the wargames audience is shrinking so GW’s IPs are slowly becoming irrelevancies. Unless they seek to transition them and establish them as videogaming properties in their own right, pretty soon the only games made from Warhammer themes will be stuff like Cyanide’s Blood Bowl, ie. made by a bunch of guys who used to play the game when they were teens, and mostly bought only by other former players as well! Do they want to sell games on their own merits, or just milk the nostalgia cow?

  13. magnus says:

    Where do you put 40,000 gonks, you must have been to a huge amount of fairs?!

  14. frenz0rz says:

    I quite enjoyed Fire Warrior…

  15. FunkyBadger3 says:

    GW weirdly don’t seem that bothered in monetising the 40000 License, happy to sell it for a handful of magic beans ever so many years. Hope that doesn’t end up biting them in the arse.

  16. MiniTrue says:

    I still think that Shadow of the Horned Rat and Dark Omen are the best Games-Workshop related games ever made, although I suspect that Bandai-Namco still own the rights to regular (ahem, superior) Warhammer. Which is a pity, because Mark of Chaos was abysmal. I have only limited interest in 40k, but since I privately regard Dark Omen as one of the best tactical fantasy games ever made, it’s a shame that the whole idea seems to be dead.

    • drewski says:

      I never bothered with Dark Omen, but SofHR was punishingly difficult which probably limited it’s appeal and that of the sequel.

      I’d love a good new Warhammer game, but it’d have to be a lot more accessible.

  17. McDan says:

    Space Marines in, well, spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace

    Because no one has said space with an unnecassary amount of a’s in yet.

  18. jonfitt says:

    This is a post for anyone else to admit that they have been chucked out of a Games Workshop.

    Ours was run by commissars, but instead of executions, it was ejections.

  19. SirKicksalot says:

    Dawn of War 3 with space battles, just to shut up Homeworld fans.

  20. Daryl says:

    I can’t say I blame them. Before THQ, Warhammer games were VERY hit or miss, mostly the latter. Some consistency has done them really well.

    Now just give us a full game from a perspective other than the damn Space Marines and I will be happy. Preferably Chaos, but I’ll take anything else.

  21. Keymonk says:

    I’d like a Warhammer Fantasy game in Dawn of War 2 style. I’d also like another expansion to DoW2. Like Tau or Necron or so. Oh, and a first-person shooter in 40K. Hell, an Oblivion style RPG in Warhammer Fantasy would be excellent.

  22. Kevin says:

    Since Itagaki’s working for THQ, maybe they could get him to make a DMC-style action game featuring a Solitaire as the protagonist once he’s done with Devil’s Third. I mean, a super flexible, space-elf ninja clown with a fantastic rack and plays the goddess of kinky sex in the Fall should be right up Itagaki’s alle-

    Hold on, I need to use the bathroom for a minute…

  23. Yog-Sothoth says:

    I would like to see a battlefield style FPS set in the Warhammer 40k universe. Like Star Wars: Battlefront but for warhammer.

  24. pipman3000 says:

    i like to call blood khorne syrup

  25. Guyver says:

    when we talk about homeworld future, i cant stop to think about the “new” x-com… jesus, i cant stand too see one of my favorite game became an fps… lets hope in the best on the august new rts announcement!

  26. Evilpigeon says:

    I think a good summary of this thread would be MAKE A WARHAMMER 40K EVERYTHING! (and more homeworld) … Carry on

  27. Maltic says:

    The only thing more epic then 40K is 40K EPIC.

  28. LuNatic says:

    Total War: Sabbat Worlds Crusade please. I don’t care how many Atari execs need to be bribed, just make it happen!

  29. RegisteredUser says:

    After the third PR-injected adjective I puked and could not go on reading the quotes.

  30. sonofsanta says:

    I’d love to go to video game space. It’s like real space, but with more colours.

    Like brown and grey, amirite? LOLZ and other stuff.

    Needs more Necromunda. And Gorkamorka. But then every situation needs more Gorkamorka.

  31. Jonathan says:

    Let’s have another visit to Space Hulk, please.

  32. Quine says:

    All I want is the chance to buy virtual 40K armies using points. You know, so you can have heroic last stands and tweak your ideal loudouts, and dither over special equipment or more troops. None of this “magically appearing out of the skies” shop-bought troops midgame. Whack a proper terrain editor that lets you purchase defences and awesomeness would ensue.
    At what stage will the video game space not take sales from the plastic figures tabletop space? It must be coming up…