THQ core games boss Danny Bilson has told Eurogamer that development on Dawn of War 3 is well underway at Relic. Eurogamer understand that the third game in the series will take elements from the first and second games and "add something new." Bilson previously told EG that Dawn of War 3 will "have a much larger strategic component to it, more of a global battle going on with little tactical things, sort of MMO-like."
Bilson gave a rough estimate for a release date, too, saying the game will likely ship sometime between August 2012 and February 2013. Yesterday, Bilson teased a big new Relic RTS announcement for this year's Gamescom. "This one's built to announce at that place," he said. "I feel like an ass saying it's fantastic, but it is. And we're going to do something with it you haven't seen before."
Bilson originally said that Dawn of War 3 might end up being "a more digital free-to-play experience," depending on the success of Company of Heroes Online . CoHO closed down earlier this year, suggesting the new Dawn of War game won't be free to play, but we could still see features cross over from Relic's Company of Heroes experiment.
CoHO featured persistent hero units that could be levelled up between multiplayer encounters, unlocking new battlefield abilities in the process. The game also featured a player avatar that could be upgraded to unlock powerful, limited use battlefield abilities like air-strikes. It will be interesting to see if Relic bring any of these multiplayer RPG elements into Dawn of War 3's multiplayer mode to make it a more "MMO-like" experience.
Relic might also be looking closely at the success of the Last Stand mode, which replaces Dawn of War's armies with a single hero. Last Stand was released as a standalone game on Steam earlier this year.
Either way, another Dawn of War game is cause for excitement. We'll know more when the reveal happens at Gamescom in August.