Monday it was announced that the joint venture between Climax and Games Workshop has ended. Today, Karl Jeffery, Climax CEO, commented: "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 (MMO) to market meant that we were left with little choice. With new MMO's, such as Star Wars Galaxies costing up to $ 30M to launch, this is now a very high stakes business"
Just over two years ago, Climax and Games Workshop came together to form a joint venture company who's mission it was to develop and launch a massively multi-player role playing game based on the hugely popular Warhammer table-top game.
Since then we have built an incredibly talented team in Nottingham who have developed an extraordinary game: the graphics & animation are stunning, the Leviathan tools & technology are cutting edge and the game world is gritty and realistic in a way never seen before in an MMO. The Warhammer Online game has been highly praised by the specialist press and recently won PC Zone's "online game of the show " award at the E3 expo.
During the past few months Climax and Games Workshop have been undertaking a comprehensive review of the costs to complete and launch the game. MMO's have a very different business model from traditional (boxed) games and require a huge up front investment in servers, bandwidth and customer support teams. The actual cost of rolling out the game was far higher than either partner had anticipated and we have decided that we simply cannot justify it.
This decision will not impact Climax's Nottingham studio as we have a second game already in development there and the technology team will continue to advance our Leviathan suite of MMO tools and technology. We are now exploring the possibility of bringing in another partner to assist with the roll out, a company with existing MMO experience and infrastructure would be ideal, as this would reduce costs and risk.
News source: Climax website