I recently strapped on my bulkiest, most improbable armour in order to again attempt the vast campaigns of the Dawns of War 2. The reason being that I wanted to play them in co-op, and, with Games for Windows Live potentially shutting down in July, wasn't sure if that was a thing I'd be able to do. It looks like I can rest easy on my seemingly unending Tyranid defence, as Relic have announced that Dawn of War, Dawn of War 2, and both games' various expansions will all be transitioned over to Steamworks. In doing so, the Warhammer 40K series can dodge whatever ill fate is in store for GameSpy and GfW Live.
"On May 22nd, the original Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War and its expansions underwent a major update in order to preserve multiplayer gameplay for all these titles," writes Dawn of War design lead Philippe Boulle.
"Since their launch, Dawn of War and its expansions (Winter Assault, Dark Crusade and Soulstorm) have relied on the GameSpy service for multiplayer matchmaking. Since they are about to shut down their services for good it would otherwise leave these games without any way to play multiplayer. That is not an outcome anyone at Relic would want to see."
Dawn of War 2 and the Chaos Rising expansion, meanwhile, are slightly more complex beasts. According to Boulle, the migration is currently in progress, with Relic planning to reveal more details in the near future. The second DoW2 expansion, Retribution, is already a Steamworks-only title.
"In the short term, there are likely to be some technical issues with the new setup," Boulle writes. "Recreating the multiplayer infrastructure for seven titles is no small feat, and there will be bugs. Ultimately, we felt that it would be better to get the update out in a slightly imperfect state in time to prevent an outright interruption in multiplayer play. So, bugs."