Today is the 5th anniversary of the launch of Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning. Never lacking a flair for the dramatic, moments ago Mythic announced that WAR will be shutting down on December 18th of this year.
It’s been years since I worked for Mythic and I haven’t closely followed anything about the game during that interval, but it always felt oddly nice to know that – somewhere out there – folks were still playing WAR (and DAoC and UO, for that matter). This shutdown represents the first time a game I helped launch will go offline for good and, I don’t mind saying, it’s a sad thing to consider.
WAR wasn’t the first game I worked on, but it WAS the first game I worked on from the very start of production and – until recently – it represented the single longest project of my career. It was certainly the LARGEST game I’ve worked on so far. I worked with hundreds of people, all over the world (and amassed enough frequent flyer miles that I started getting holiday cards from airlines). I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with thousands and thousands of fans.
Every, single person on that team worked their butt off to make the best game they possibly could. And like everyone on the team that built it, there are bits of me and my life in WAR.
A small example:
There’s an NPC – Vorque, the Skaven – named after a friend of mine who passed away while we were still in early production. The last thing he said to me before he died was an impassioned plea for playable Skaven in WAR, so it only seemed fitting to immortalize him in that small way. It will feel strange to see Virtual Vorque go away as well.
We had HUGE plans for WAR. We wanted it to be something that grew and thrived and endured for many, many years. It’s sad that things didn’t work out that way. Nevertheless, I’m proud of WAR. It’s a good game that brought a lot of joy to a lot of people. And five years is a solid run.
So to the folks I worked with all those years ago and to the millions of people who played WAR over its lifetime, cheers and a hearty, bittersweet WAAAAGH! to you all.