Britsoft developer Climax has spoken out about the cancellation of massively multiplayer title Warhammer Online, which was announced earlier this week by rights-holder and project partner Games Workshop.
In a statement released late on Tuesday, CEO Karl Jeffery expressed sadness over the decision but admitted the firms had "little choice" following a review of the costs involved in bringing the game to market.
In brighter news, Climax confirmed that its Nottingham development studio, which had been working on the massively multiplayer project until its cancellation, will not suffer as a result of the decision. The studio is currently developing a second title and furthering the development of its 'Leviathan' suite of massively multiplayer tools and tech.
"It was a deeply sad thing for us to have to do after so much hard work and commitment from the entire team but the costs involved in bringing the Warhammer massively multiplayer online game to market meant that we were left with little choice," Jeffery said this week.
Despite this failure however, Climax will continue to pursue the massively multiplayer genre, although judging by Jeffery's comments on Tuesday, it won't be taking any chances in doing so.
"With new massively multiplayer online games, such as Star Wars Galaxies, costing up to $30m to launch, this is now a very high stakes business," Jeffery commented. With this in mind, the company is "exploring the possibility" of forming another partnership, ideally with "a company with existing MMO experience and infrastructure".
Warhammer Online's now game-less publisher Sega Europe has already expressed disappointment at the project's cancellation. "Warhammer Online was due to be published by Sega Europe in early 2005. We regret to confirm that development has now ceased on this project," the publisher said in a verbal statement on Monday, adding, "Sega remains committed to expanding its portfolio by working with the best developers in the marketplace."
For the record, the other Warhammer game known to be in development - Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - is entirely unaffected by the whole affair. That game, a real-time strategy title, is being published under licence by THQ in late 2004, and is currently undergoing development at THQ's recently purchased internal studio Relic Entertainment, makers of Homeworld.