Learn the story of Climax’s failed Warhammer Online

    
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Students of MMO history might recall that Mythic Entertainment wasn’t the first studio to take a crack at the Warhammer IP. In fact, before Mythic was Climax Studios, which had worked on Warhammer Online for several years before dropping the project due to lack of a funds.

YouTuber Ravi Abbott put together a few videos to document the Climax era of Warhammer Online, including footage from the development team, speeches from Paul Barnett, and the full E3 2004 presentation for the game. You can watch these after the jump to see a glimpse into an alternate future that never was!

Source: YouTube. Thanks to Ravi Abbott for the tip!
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DoctorOverlord
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DoctorOverlord

vicariousfan anatheod I was in the beta too.  It was fun testing the game and I thought things were going okay in spite of the weirdness with EA and DAOC and all.   Then they announced the game was being launched before they had even tested the city siege mechanics.  They tested it, what – two times, prior to launch and it was never working even in the beta testing.   And that was just the most glaring thing, there were so many other problems that they needed to work out.

It was pretty clear Mythic was just making the same mistakes of the past.  Ah well.

DoctorOverlord
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DoctorOverlord

Lights_andMusic Same here, unfortunately Barnett’s videos and hype made following the game more fun than the game itself. Sigh.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

crackfox I remember all the hype about there being WAR everywhere you went in the game. Hilarious times.

jeremy2020
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jeremy2020

anatheod Matt Firor.

kalamarison
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kalamarison

PurpleCopper Both Warcraft and Starcraft draw heavy inspiration from Warhammer fantasy and Warhammer 40k.
Rumor is that the original Warcraft started as a Warhammer fantasy game but never managed to get the rights to the IP.

Oleg Chebeneev
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Oleg Chebeneev

vicariousfan anatheod Huge hype that Paul’s videos brought to use ultimately led to huge disappointment during release. People expected it to be dream come true, perfect MMO. And it wasnt by any means.

Mansemat
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Mansemat

Theo454 The Climax version was more in line with traditional WHFRP where magic was rare and dangerous unlike Mythic’s version.

WPG1
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WPG1

Oh what could have been, instead we got the epic Marc Jacobs hissy fit tank job.

Theo454
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Theo454

I was a big Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay fan(note that is different than what most people think of when they think of warhammer). I had hoped someone would eventually make a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay mmorpg, but to date no one has really attempted it, perhaps the climax version would have been closer to it than the mythic version, I’m not entirely sure. But I do know the climax warhammer mmorpg had me excited and I was really bummed when I had heard it shut down. I remember hearing one of the people who had worked on the game saying they were 2 million dollars or so away from being able to get the game into a state where it could be released.

A Dad Supreme
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A Dad Supreme

vicariousfan anatheod “aww you can’t hold Paul accountable for that, his job was to hype the game and he did a damn good job of it.”
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Have to agree with this 100%.
Everyone on a project of any type has their own job to do, and Paul’s was to drum-up excitement and enthusiasm among the fans. He excelled on such an individual level that to my mind, the only ‘entity’ able to compete with his PR mastery is Trion’s.  Proof is how many disappointed and bitter fans still around to this day. That’s some epic level of tears worthy only of the City of Heroes community.
Being able to get people excited over bad products is a tough sell, and he/Trion deserve all the credit in the world. Unfortunately, it’s the devs for those companies that haven’t pulled their own weight by and large.