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Canned Warhammer MMO 'became free-to-play co-op adventure'

Ex-THQ exec says Dark Millenium Online took cues from Borderlands

Warhammer 40k: Dark Millenium Online was shaping up to be a free-to-play Borderlands-style co-op RPG before THQ pulled the plug, according to former THQ core games head Danny Bilson.

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Bilson told VG24/7 that the Warhammer 40,000 game, which began life as an MMORPG, was making the transition well.

"It was a four-player co-op jump-in jump out, go on these missions with your friends," Bilson said. "I was really excited about that. With the commitment of that year we felt we could finish that game and ship it within that year, which would have been summer of 2013. It would have been last summer."

THQ decided that making a subscription-based MMO was impractical after watching Star Wars: The Old Republic fail to dent World of Warcraft's subscriber base.

Already in poor financial condition from the failed uDraw tablet, THQ was unwilling to invest further millions in Dark Millenium Online.

The team set to work converting the content, putting together a game that let players collect loot across adventures and customize their own capital ships, Bilson said.

"There was a lot of game let go there that was pretty great. The combat system was really fun; it was fast, it was exciting. The art was really great, the world was coming along. I thought it had tremendous potential."

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