Games Workshop has scrapped the development of the Warhammer MMORPG (Massively Multi-Player Online Role-Playing Game) after several years of development. While a few MMORPGs such as EverQuest have become extremely successful, development costs for these games are very high and the field is increasingly crowded and competitive. In a statement posted on the Warhammeronline Website, Games Workshop's Robin Dews told fans: 'It is with a great deal of sadness that I have to inform the community that we have to discontinue the development of Warhammer Online and will be closing this Website with immediate effect. This has been a difficult and painful decision but it was taken following a full review of the progress of the game, costs to date, and future costs of the project. As a result both Games Workshop and Climax Development Limited, the computer games developer, have agreed to terminate the development project.'
The future of MMORPGs and online gaming in general may be bright, but at this point a tremendous expenditure is required to achieve the critical mass of users necessary to put the 'massive' in MMORPG, and increased competition tends to subdivide the potential audience into groups that may be too small to support a major MMORPG. Over the past year there have been numerous announcements of this game or that property being licensed for a MMORPG, but if Games Worshop can't make it work with a popular property such as Warhammer, the propects for MMORPGs based on lesser properties do not look good.