Renowned RTS developer Creative Assembly has acquired the rights to make games in the fantasy-based Warhammer universe. This is not to be confused with the sci-fi Warhammer 40K license, which still belongs to THQ, according to Eurogamer. While Creative Assembly now holds the rights to Warhammer, the company has said that its first Warhammer project is not due for launch until “beyond 2013”.

This would be the first Warhammer game that will be based in the fantasy universe and will not be an MMORPG. Counting this, Creative Assembly now has five projects in the works, including its upcoming Total War: Rome 2 and the Aliens game that is still in development.

The other major games in the Warhammer franchise are the strategy games based on Warhammer 40,000 made by Relic Entertainment.

Creative Assembly's turn with the license

Creative Assembly's turn with the license

“With this year being our 25th anniversary it seems fitting for us to embark on such a dream project with such a well-established partner,” Tim Heaton, studio director at Creative Assembly, said of the deal. “The incredibly rich and detailed Warhammer world is something we grew up with, and has left an indelible imprint on us as both designers and gamers.

“We'll be doing the Warhammer universe justice in a way that has never been attempted before. We're bringing those 25 years of experience and expertise in extremely high-scoring games to bear, delivering a Warhammer experience that videogamers will absolutely love.”

Earlier this year, during Rezzed, Jamie Russel, the lead designer for Total War: Rome 2, had said that the game would deliver a darker vision of war. He said some interesting things about how the game will be. “Close-up, we want the men to feel more human. We've got facial animations, emotional interactions between men; so that if the guy next to me gets hit by an arrow, I'll react to that. It's all about a darker vision of war. We want the combat to feel more brutal, more visceral. And we want the form-combat to really get a sense of that Roman war machine, that unique fighting style of the Roman meat grinder legions,” he said.
One of the bigger changes announced was that the land and sea battles won’t be separate things; they can be part of the same giant battle. You could have your soldiers jump out of their boats to help support your cavalry. Russel stated that their aim for Rome 2 was to “deliver some of the most spectacular sights you've ever seen in a video game.”

Revealing other details about Rome 2, Russell said the campaign map is to be “much larger” than in Rome 1. The northern forests will have barbarian tribes and there will be the “exotic” Eastern kingdoms in the desert, not to mention Rome will also be there. That will amount to a “huge variety of fighting styles, cultures and environments”.

There will also be political intrigue and rivalries in the Senate and within families. “We want the player to be thinking things like, do I save the Republic or do I play to become Emperor,” said Russell. “This was a time when the personal decisions of Julius Caesar and Cleopatra shaped empires, they forged history with their personal decisions.” However, he added that the code on show was “super, super early” and was “way, way, pre-alpha”.

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