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Why We're Getting So Many Games Workshop Games

Also, Rites of War is back!

Say, remember the olden days before the Warhammer video game drought? GOG, that virtuous virtual vendor of vintage video games, have dug up an artifact from those times, today digitally re-releasing Warhammer 40,000: Rites of War. Harking from 1999, it's turn-based strategy game built on the Panzer General 2 engine.

Say, notice how the Warhammer game drought ended a few years back and we're now flooded with them? Games Workshop have spoken a little about how and why they've changed their plans about licensing Warhammer (and their other creations) to people making video game adaptations. They have a few ideas of their own too.

So, Rites of War! Made by DreamForge and published by SSI in 1999, it's a serious turn-based strategy game starring the Eldar. Those space-snobs are busy trying to reclaim an ancient Maiden World by duffing up those louts from the Imperium of Man and the drooling Tyranids. GOG are selling for £3.99. To celebrate its launch, GOG are also holding a Warhammer sale this week.

As for the wider issue of licensing, Games Workshop chatted about this with Gamaustra. Head of licensing Jon Gillard explains that Games Workshop started rethinking their games ways back in 2011.

"Firstly we decided that we would focus on licensing the rights somebody needed to make the game or games they had an absolute plan to make rather than the big all-encompassing deals for a huge section of IP, like all of Warhammer 40,000 for example," he said. This combined with the rise of digital distribution and self-publishing, reducing reliance on monolithic publishers, means they have loads more people making Games Workshop games.

He explains that unlike their physical games which limit the amount of things they can make by simply taking up space, video games let them go wild. He tosses out a few ideas, saying "... we absolutely want to see massive space ship battles based on Battlefleet Gothic, or a gang warfare game based on Necromunda, maybe a crazy violent racing game based on Gorkamorka." Yes to that Necromunda, ta.

Though we're seeing more mediocre Games Workshop games thanks to this change - the glory days of Relic making all the WH:40K games are certainly gone - I'm hopeful that it'll throw up some wonderful oddities. Heck, I'm stoked to see what strange things the E.Y.E.: Divine Cybermancy folks end up making in Space Hulk: Deathwing.

But please do announce Dawn of War 3, Relic.

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Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.