Thursday, September 19, 2013

Warhammer Online Closes

Warhammer Online is shutting down in December.  I played it for a bit when it first came out, and actually wrote a fair bit about it on this site.

WAR had several good ideas, most notably Public Quests. Having both an offensive and defensive target is one of my favorite UI innovations. I think that WAR has been quite influential on the design of the MMOs that came after it.

But ultimately WAR was a failure. I think it was a failure because, while it reached for new heights, it didn't get the basics correct. Chat was a nightmare, and the latency and performance were pretty bad. And who can forget the contribution bug. Not to mention that just logging into the game meant wading through a morass of splash screens and opening movies.

The real lesson of Warhammer Online is that cool design will generate hype. But polish and performance, the basic grunt work, are vital to success.


  1. There is another lesson to be taken from this. Never play a game which uses a third party license for its IP. Because that will make the game unprofitable much sooner or can even kill a profitable game at will.

  2. What killed it for me was the overbilling incident where they cleaned out people's bank accounts.

    If I can't trust you (a business) with my CC#, I can't trust you with ANYTHING.

  3. Yes, those public quests you now see in newer games like Rift and most recently FFXIV where I think they call them Fates.

    I thought that at least was innovative.

    I'm trying to think why I quit so soon. I can't even remember.