Fans of the tabletop miniatures game Warmachine by Privateer Press have been asking for a video game adaptation for a long time. Years back, indie developer WhiteMoon Dreams announced that they were working on a Warmachine video game, and even showed off a demonstration of what they were aiming for behind closed doors at GenCon 2010. Then there was an E3 trailer that same year. It looked okay, if you can get past the eardrum-melting choice of terrible dubstep for the soundtrack.
Then the game disappeared. Every now and then someone from WhiteMoon Dreams or Privateer Press would pop up and tease that the game was still in production, and hint that their problem was finding a publisher and the funds needed to make this a high-budget action-adventure game for PC and consoles. Many fans, including myself, had just assumed that the game was canned.
Yesterday, Privateer Press finally released the update that Warmachine fans have been waiting for: The game is still alive, with a teaser trailer this time. In a lengthy blog post by Matt Wilson from Privateer Press, he explains that the game’s development has been pretty rough over the past two years:
“In the past two years, we’ve changed course several times, reinventing our approach to the game in an attempt to get in front of what publishers were looking for. Uncertainty regarding the future of consoles and the untamed frontier of mobile gaming means that what publishers and financiers are willing to risk money on changes moment to moment. Decisions aren’t based solely on the strength or merit of a property—in fact, that’s probably one of the lesser considerations. Rather, a game is chosen for production based on complex market evaluations that can take months or even a year or more. And the results are disproven nearly as often as they are rewarded, as the high number of cancelled projects in the video game industry attests.
We are continuing to pursue the goal of the high budget action-adventure game and are currently entertaining multiple interesting possibilities that may accomplish that goal. Around the first of this year, though, we realized that the fluctuating state of the video game industry meant it would likely be a good while longer before we’d be able to make real progress. What’s more, the situation would probably become even more difficult before beginning to improve. So, we’ve decided to take things into our own hands.”
What he means by “taking things into our own hands” is revamping (which hopefully also involved burning the dubstep tracks with holy fire) the previous action-adventure title into the more manageable Warmachine: Tactics, a turn-based strategy game for PC and Mac that will be coming to Kickstarter in the near future. The game will feature a single player campaign and multiplayer, with Cygnar and Khador as the two starting factions. Stretch goals will include launching with Cryx and The Protectorate, the other two “prime” factions in the miniatures game. They also mentioned supporting the game with DLC, which I assume will probably involve adding the other Warmachine factions and integrating Hordes, the sister game to Warmachine– that involves the wilder factions of the setting. At least, as someone whose main faction in the miniatures game is Skorne, I can only hope that Hordes will be added later.
I must admit, I’m still a bit skeptical here. Both WhiteMoon Dreams and Privateer Press have taken to the forums to help reassure people, but WMD’s tendency to go long periods of time without updating us is worrying for a game that is about to hit Kickstarter. Hopefully a successful Kickstarter will solve this, as most of the issues seem to be because of the problems they had getting funding and a publisher. We’ll just have to wait and see.
I think I’m more excited about the idea of future Warmachine/Hordes games, should this one prove successful. Matt Wilson said that their vision is to make a whole library of Warmachine games eventually. Can we expect the Surgeon Simulator 2013: Morghoul DLC Pack in the future? Dominar Rasheth’s Titan Tycoon? Agonizer: The Reckoning? Look, I just really want a Skorne-themed video game.