Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

Warhammer: Eternal Crusade almost tried Crowdfunding, Games Workshop said no.

Anyone remember Eternal Crusade, the once-massively multiplayer online role playing gameturned... free to play something? It still remains in development, with little more than alpha footage to show. They recently opened up founder's program, but that wasn't apparently their first decision. According to This article on Polygon they originally intended to hold a Kickstarter, only for Games Workshop to quickly dismiss it. This in and of itself isn't surprising, save for a little bit in the blurb there: The reason cited being they were afraid of the chance for failure and de-value the brand as a result.

To an extent this isn't a huge surprise, as GW doesn't want to drive their property into the dirt. Unless they're the driver. But there is a wider context that makes this kind of interesting. The last annual report for GW was decidedly bad, and CEO Tom Kirby resigned earlier this year. Sales of the tabletop Warhammer Fantasy battles are in free fall, and while 40k is doing alright, the IP itself is really all they have (note that Black Library sales are pretty good, with some even speculating that it's one of the reason they're doing well at all, people DO want to enjoy the universe they've created). This puts GW in a pretty awkward position, one that I think explains the recent out and out shovelware with comments like this.

What this could mean is quite a bit is resting on Eternal Crusade's shoulders. Now can this game deliver on the 40k universe so many people desperately want to enjoy? That's harder to say. From what little I've seen it seems built on the bones of the excellent Warhammer 40k: Space Marine, and claims to offer multiple races competing in a large sprawling world (the Orks are the free faction, which if nothing else is hilarious), but the company is largely unknown, and building on something that it may not be able to deliver.


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