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Relic on the closure of Company of Heroes Online: “A challenging game for the team”


Company of Heros 2 has been released; read our Company of Heroes 2 review to find out our verdict.

Speaking at the Eurogamer Expo, where they were showing of Company of Heroes 2, Relic talked about their experience with the free-to-play Company of Heroes online, and why that business model isn’t for them. At least, not right now.

Company of Heroes Online was launched in China, Korea and North America in September 2010, but closed after just six months.

“It was a challenging game for the team,” explained principle designer Quinn Duffy. “Essentially doing a live release every month was really tough on the team, and it wasn’t a big team.” Though it was a chance for Relic and THQ to experiment with something different, Duffy said that he’s happy making games the old fashioned way, in spite of all the new business models that are emerging.

“It’s a very interesting time, just in a general sense for the industry and companies likes THQ and studios like Relic. What is next? What’s the next business model? What’s the expectations of the community now? I think everybody’s a little bit confused in terms of the impact of free-to-play, the impact of casual. People like me who’ve been around for a long time during triple-A are like ‘But I want to do triple-A! I want to work on a high-value, high-presentation game.’ I love that day-to-day effort, that focus,” he said. “There’s all this stuff happening out there, but how much of this is noise, and how much of it is going to impact our decision-making?”

Of course, there’s no reason why Relic can’t succeed this way, and the new ways that the games industry can make money don’t preclude the old ones. Sometimes, we just want to put some money down and buy a big, shiny, sexy new game. With tanks in.