After publisher THQ had finished thrashing about wildly, coughing up blood and leaking eye-juice all over the place before finally keeling over and pegging, many IPs were left homeless. One such IP was the Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War franchise, which had previously been handled by developer Relic. When Relic was snaffled up by SEGA post THQ implosion, many speculated that the Warhammer 40K license would eventually settle with them as well. After all, SEGA had literally just inked a deal between themselves and Games Workshop allowing them to develop Warhammer fantasy RTS games; those games are being handled by Creative Assembly. Basically, SEGA being given the rights to make Warhammer 40K games seemed like a no-brainer.
Turns out that’s not what Games Workshop thought, as they’ve just licensed the Warhammer 40K series to developer Slitherine – developer and publisher of super-serious strategy games that cover nearly every single human conflict in history. I haven’t played any of them, but Slitherine apparently has a good reputation among RTS players who prefer their games to be historically accurate.
Two things to bear in mind: first of all this does not mean that SEGA won’t ever get the rights to oversee development of a Warhammer 40K game. Second, it looks as if Slitherine is going the whole turn-based strategy route, which means their titles might be more along the lines of an accurate digital interpretation of the table-top game, rather than the use of Games Workshop canon to develop a more action-oriented RTS, ala Dawn of War.