A couple of days ago (April 22nd) it was stated by a Relic Entertainment employee that there is a “strong possibility” of a new Dawn of War game coming in the future. That’s right, the Emperor’s finest might well be reporting for duty again after a two-year long wait since Dawn of War II: Retribution (currently the latest game in the Dawn of War franchise).
Since Relic Entertainment was auctioned off to SEGA after the collapse of THQ, I was a bit unsure of what might happen with this series. I doubted SEGA would disallow such a development, but I didn’t know what might’ve happened during the studio’s tradeoff. I was mostly just blindly optimistic, really. Now it seems I may have nothing to worry about, as I hope the rest of fans may not, too.
For those who don’t know, Dawn of War is a PC series of RTS games based within the Warhammer 40,000 (“40k“) universe. It is a series that means quite a big deal to me since I can recall very fondly of pouring in hours of gameplay into the original Dawn of War game. It was my go-to game for the longest time, until I eventually managed to get into the Dawn of War II series.
Quinn Duffy (Relic Entertainment’s Game Director) hinted to Eurogamer that Relic may think about bringing out a third instalment to the series – they have allegedly been on-and-off with some ideas.
According to Eurogamer, there’s uncertainty about whether or not SEGA got a 40k license included with buying Relic. Apparently SEGA hasn’t said anything about if they have, or if they’ve bought a license from Games Workshop (who own the Warhammer 40,000 IP).
So, even though Relic are usually the ones known for heralding the 40k franchise, it’s still unknown exactly if SEGA picked up the 40k license when they bought Relic. Games Workshop, on the other hand, have allegedly been busy with licensing its IPs to other developers.
“‘Dawn of War’, because it’s a license and it’s owned by Games Workshop, they have the opportunity to work that license with whoever they want.” Duffy said to Eurogamer. “I would hope it would be us again. We had a great working relationship with Games Workshop. SEGA is establishing one now with the fantasy license for Creative Assembly.”
“There’s a strong possibility we’ll all be working together again on ‘Dawn of War’.”
Duffy also suggested that Relic will want to improve the games’ technology before building it, possibly implying a rework of the game’s mechanics, graphical engine, and gameplay…a lot of things. Which is understandable since we’re now transitioning into the next generation and I find it only natural that Relic would want to kick up the tech of the series to match the next gaming generation.
“When we look at things like that, especially when you get into very early development on future titles, some of it is beneficial from a learning experience, and some of it from a technology experience just isn’t,” he said.
“We’ve stopped and started on a number of things over the past that have given us lessons. But sometimes it’s easier just to start again on something new. With Company of Heroes, when we started, we wanted to bring our level of tech up substantially. Going into the future, Relic’s got to do that again. We’ve got to get our next generation engine ready for years down the road. Whatever’s happening has to take that into account.”
It might even do the franchise good if its next instalment was revitalised – like how the gameplay changed from the original Dawn of War series to the Dawn of War II series.
Of course, having said that, the change was quite a jarring experience for me since I faithfully played the original game for the longest time. When I saw what was changed in the original Dawn of War II I nearly flipped a table, but when actually started to play it I came to realise the most of the aspects were actually an improvement. Not all, but most – to me, anyway. I still miss base-building, though.
As for the actually question of “is Relic working on Dawn of War III?”, Duffy responded with a smile and said “I won’t say…” I imagine it would have been a rather mischievous smile.
The implications are there to suggest that Relic Entertainment is working on Dawn of War III, which would also imply that SEGA did manage to get a hold of a license from Games Workshop to use the 40k IP and it’s just been under wraps. I honestly can’t wait to hear when this new Dawn of War will be announced. Until it is, however, fans of the franchise shouldn’t be breaking out their old paint set and start modeling their miniatures after the Blood Ravens just yet. Nothing is fact at the moment, only implication. In any case, something is definitely brewing within grim darkness of Relic Entertainment.
What do you think the next ‘Dawn of War’ game will be like? Let us know in the comments!