THQ Says Warhammer 40k MMO Can Easily Break Even

In a recent financial earnings conference call, THQ CEO Brian Farrell said the upcoming Warhammer 40k MMO won't need anywhere near 1 million customers to break even

Gamasutra just reported the results of a THQ financial earnings conference call in which CEO Brian Farrell expressed his confidence in the upcoming Warhammer 40k MMO, currently under-development by Virgil Games. According to Gamasutra, Farrell said that the "relatively low initial investment" of Warhammer 40k means that it will be easier for the publisher to break even, similar to its recent success with the low-investment Metro 2033 first-person shooter. The last time Farrell mentioned Warhammer 40k was in March, when we reported his claim that the MMO wouldn't be directly competing with the likes of World of Warcraft. According to Gamasutra, Farrell reiterated his confidence in the upcoming Warhammer 40k MMO in the conference call earlier today:

"One of the reasons that we think our costs are under control here is because we think we're building this game right," Farrell explained. The exec said that the game will initially cost on the high-end of a non-MMO triple-A retail game. We started with a very small and experienced MMO team who gave us the very wise advice to prove out all the technology and world-building tools before you start adding to the team and really ramping up all of the content that an MMO requires. That's why we think our budget is going to be very competitive."

Farrell didn't cite a specific number of subscribers that will allow THQ to break even with Warhammer 40k, although he did admit it won't be near the 1 million mark. "You can imagine that given the fact that we have a lower initial investment than some of our competitors talk about," he said, according to Gamasutra. "We don't need the kind of subscriber levels that people throw around, like a million subscribers, to make a lot of money on this title. If we get anywhere near that level, we'll be making a lot of money."

As we reported in February, THQ is expected to unveil the upcoming Warhammer 40k MMO in more detail at this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) at the Los Angeles Convention Center, which takes place from June 15 to 17. So far, we've heard a lot of hype about Warhammer 40k from THQ, but we won't get our first glimpse of the MMO until next month at E3. And we're hoping the game lives up to the hype, because the Warhammer 40k universe has a ton of potential to make a great MMO, as we noted in last year's 2009 ZAM Awards when the MMO won an honorable mention for our "Most Anticipated Established IP" award category. Check back with ZAM's Warhammer 40k portal site for more information and upcoming news as it's available!


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