Games Workshop and developer Slitherine Software UK Ltd. have announced plans to create an iPad and PC strategy title based on the former's beloved Warhammer 40K tabletop game.
Outside of Dungeons & Dragons, there are few tabletop games as old and well-loved as Games Workshop's Warhammer 40K. As a result, the blood-drenched, futuristic setting has spawned a number of videogame adaptations, the most popular of which would arguably be Relic Entertainment's squad-based strategy titles, Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War, its many expansion packs, and its similarly-named sequel. Hopefully you recall this abundance of Warhammer 40K-based titles fondly, as we're about to see a new one.
In a surprisingly uninformative announcement posted to the Slitherine forums, a company representative calling him or herself "Philkian" reveals a new agreement recently signed by Warhammer 40K rights holder Games Workshop and Slitherine which will produce a strategy game set within the venerable tabletop universe. A later comment by Philkian clarifies that the developer hopes to launch the title simultaneously on both the PC and iPad platforms.
What can we expect from this game? Well, that's something of a mystery. "Details of the deal including the content and features of the game have not yet been announced, but development is already underway on multiple platforms, involving the best talents in design and development available to the Slitherine Group," the announcement reads, before offering absolutely nothing further. We don't even have a vague release window, much less a solid release date, and while fans should find it heartening that the title is described as a "strategy" game, there are so many subgenres contained with that descriptor that this as-yet-untitled adaptation could go in any number of directions.
Still, there are few fanbases as rabid as that of Warhammer 40K. Normally we wouldn't bother reporting on an announcement so devoid of useful information, but in this case we've made an exception, if only to avoid legions of angry tabletop gamers storming Escapist HQ, multi-sided die in hand, and screaming for our collective blood in the unintelligible language of the Dark Eldar.
What we can say of this game is that Games Workshop has chosen a promising developer to create the latest adaptation of its most popular intellectual property. Though Slitherine's back catalogue of games is riddled with unimpressive titles like 2009's iOS-exclusive History: Ice Road Truckers and 2003's Chariots of War, the developer also publishes a tabletop strategy game known as Field of Glory. That alone isn't enough to guarantee the quality of Slitherine's latest project, but it does at least indicate that Slitherine is familiar with the nuances of tabletop gaming, and should have crucial insight into how best to adapt the expansive Warhammer 40K ruleset into videogame form.
Expect more information on this game as it emerges, and keep your fingers crossed that this project proves Slitherine's breakout hit. We'd hate to see what might happen if the company disappoints those rabid legions of Warhammer 40K fans.
Source: Slitherine Software