It wasn't a year ago that Relic spoke hopefully about expanding Dawn of War 3 with new races, factions and campaign gubbins beyond its base game. Now, less than ten months since launch, it appears a diminished playerbase has forced the developer to leave the Warhammer-driven RTS behind—"shifting focus to other projects" within its portfolio.
In conversation with Eurogamer, Relic says DoW 3 failed to meet its launch targets, and has consistently underperformed since. A quick glance at sales tracking site Steam Spy suggests the game's peak concurrent player count yesterday was 486—this against strategy genre and Games Workshop bedfellow Total War: Warhammer 2's 18,064 concurrents.
Apples and oranges and all that, but I do wonder if Dawn of War 3's MOBA leanings turned some players off from the outset.
"While Dawn of War 3 has a dedicated player base, it didn't hit the targets we were expecting at launch, and it hasn't performed the way we had hoped since," Relic tells Eurogamer. "It's been tough for us as professionals who want to make great games for our players, and for us as people who care a lot about what we do.
"When a game underperforms, plans need to change. With Dawn of War 3, we simply don't have the foundation we need to produce major content. We're working in close partnership with Sega and Games Workshop to determine the best course of action, while shifting focus to other projects within our portfolio."
Looking to the future, Relic is developing Age of Empires 4 which is as yet without a hard release date.