Warhammer MMO to close after five years online

It’s a bittersweet day for Warhammer fans, as Mythic celebrates the fifth anniversary of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning… and announces the game will be closed down before the end of the year.

The rationale is simple – the studio’s licensing deal with Games Workshop is drawing to an end on December 18th, and will not be renewed.

[img_big]center,5957,2010-11-20/Destruction_-_CC___SQ_bmp_jpgcopy.jpg,Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning[/img_big]

Mythic broke the news across two posts – a simple, straightforward announcement that explains the studio will no longer sell three-month game time codes or allow auto-renewing accounts to extend a subscription beyond December.

The more thoughtful stuff came in a second post, from Producer Carrie Gouskos, who reflected on her experiences with Warhammer Online, including the revelations that Mythic had worked on an iPhone companion app so fans could monitor the realm war and guild status on the go.

There was also an Asian-only free-to-play version that took up a year of development time before ultimately being scrapped, a vampire-themed expansion that “would have been a marvel”, and a MOBA-style spin-off that never made it out of beta testing.

Warhammer despite its flaws was a valiant effort into the MMO space. I don’t think any of its critics would ever call it boring. It struck out boldly, and some of the game’s novel features are now considered industry standard for MMOs. The credit goes to far too many to list it out here, and it’s almost irrelevant. The point is that some of the most talented people in gaming made Warhammer possible.

More details on how Mythic will wrap up Warhammer Online are expected shortly – and if you were hoping for confirmation on Chaos Dwarves, you’ll have to keep looking.

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