Creative Assembly, makers of the highly successful Total War series, has obtained the rights to make games based on Warhammer Fantasy Battle, previously held by EA.
“We have enormous respect for SEGA and Creative Assembly and have felt for a long time that the combination of the enormously rich setting of the Warhammer world, and their stunning development talent is a match with huge potential,” said Jon Gillard, Games Workshop's Head of Licensing. “Now that we’ve managed to bring these two giants of gaming together it is safe to say that some truly amazing products are going to be unleashed as a result. We are excited at the possibilities, and are enthusiastically working with the team at Creative Assembly already.”
Meanwhile at CA...
So what effect will this have on not only the videogames industry but the tabletop side too? I've heard from a small group of people how they got into tabletop or pc gaming through one of the earlier licensed games, be it Shadow of the Horned Rat, Final Liberation etc. Its probably happened to some extent since with Space Marine, Blood Bowl, and the very popular Dawn of War series. This has the potential to reproduce that, it already has a strong following and if any of those players are tempted into tabletop gaming then I'm sure they'll find some love for the strategy and grandeur of the tabletop games.
The price of videogames also makes it an accessible way in for potential gamers too. Paying £30-40 for a few races, many battlefields to fight over, and even an opponent anytime you wish to play, is a great way for creating new fans of the Warhammer World. The one thing that scares a lot of people into going in to a Games Workshop store is not knowing enough about the product to converse with the retail staff. If you've played through a campaign on one of the games however, you'll know enough to be able to talk about something you're interested in, which makes that first trip a little easier.
The games success won't be measured by how many units it sells or what scores it gets by reviewers, but by how well it bridges the gap and recreates the look, feel, and oddness of the Warhammer world. If more gamers are intrigued by videogames as a result, and vice-versa, then GW and Creative Assembly will yell 'WAAAAAAGH' and drink much ale. And thats a good thing.