Serve the Emperor today, tomorrow you may be dead
NetEase-funded Jackalyptic Games (formerly Jackalope Games) has announced the development of a new Warhammer MMO. The studio was founded in May 2022 by former Daybreak Austin and Cryptic Studios CEO Jack Emmert. The company confirmed the early development of the project in partnership with Games Workshop. Emmert, who has experience working on MMOs like DC Universe Online, Star Trek Online, and City of Heroes, assured fans the game will focus on the rich Warhammer universe directly on the studio website.
“As someone who has molded my career developing expansive MMO stories, I’m proud to unveil that our first game in development at Jackalyptic Games will focus on the rich universes of Warhammer. Bringing the deep lore of this IP to our game is a massive undertaking, and we are thrilled to work alongside Games Workshop to bring this vision to life.”
Emmert also provided further context on the eagerness to work with the IP in an interview with MMORPG, stating:
“We haven’t specified the particular IP yet, but I can tell you as a longtime fan of everything Warhammer, I’m thrilled. Honestly, my career has been spent trying to create games inspired by my personal hobbies – comic books (City of Heroes, Champions Online), Star Trek (Star Trek Online), D&D (Neverwinter), DC Comics (DC Universe Online) – and a couple of stabs at Marvel. Warhammer is another passion of mine.”
Not the first Warhammer MMO
Jackalyptic Games is NetEase Games’ first studio in the United States and will operate independently and maintain creative autonomy in its game development. Warhammer fans are hoping for a better future for this game than previous attempts at an MMO. The last attempt was Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning, developed by Mythic Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts back in 2008. Following the game’s release it quickly picked up a cult following praising its innovative PvP content. But despite the hype around it, content for the MMORPG slowed in 2009 due to a low subscription count. In 2013, the game officially shut down after the license with Games Workshop ended.
Paired with the recently announced Lord of the Rings MMO, hopefully, the genre is nearing a golden age of sorts. While I certainly welcome anything Warhammer, I can’t help but want to see an attempt at Warhammer 40,000. After experiencing the grittiness of Warhammer 40,000: Darktide I think the futuristic sci-fi atmosphere could be a breath of fresh air in an MMO. However, even another attempt at the traditional fantasy setting could be revolutionary. We’ll see!