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THQ cancels Warhammer 40,000 MMO

Warhammer 40,000 scaled back from an MMO to a single player experience.

THQ's planned massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMO) set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe Dark Millenium Online will now just be a single player experience.

There will still be online multiplayer elements to the game, but it has lost the majority of the scope that traditional MMOs have.

As the decision was announced, THQ revealed that it had to lay off over 100 employees from two of its studios. This included 39 staff from the Relic Entertainment location in Vancouver and 79 at Vigial Games in Texas.

"As previously announced, we have been actively looking for a business partner for the game as an MMO," THQ chief executive Brian Farrel said in a statement to press.

"However, based on changing market dynamics and the additional investment required to complete the game as an MMO, we believe the right direction for us is to shift the title from an MMO to a premium experience with single and multiplayer gameplay, robust digital content and community features."

MMOs are very expensive games to develop and maintain as they require constant updating and gamer support.

THQ may have considered these costs while being aware of the dwindling subscriber base of World of Warcraft as well as the stiff competition that the title would face from Star Wars: The Old Republic to make their decision to scale back the game.

Very few MMOs go on to be a great financial success. This includes EA's Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, a game set in the fantasy world of Warhammer, rather than the science-fiction world of the 40,000 franchise that Dark Millennium is set in.

THQ has had some difficulty in recent years after making a loss of $430 million (£268 million) in 2009, which led to 250 staff being laid off.

As such, rumours were rife last year that the company would have to can all the games it had planned and sell the company. Yet, it has assured fans that it will continue to focus on the Dawn of War and Company of Heroes franchises.

There is no release date announced for Dark Millennium and no details on what the changes to the game will entail. But at least fans can be happy that the game is on its way.ADNFCR-1220-ID-801332016-ADNFCR