Games Workshop, the company responsible for the original Warhammer table-top games (which still holds the creative rights to Warhammer), has announced a deal with Sega UK to create a number of video games based on the fantasy license under the Creative Assembly banner.
Development has not yet begun and the nature of the games, beyond the licensing is not yet known, but we can probably guess what form they will take.
Creative Assembly, previously under Activision, is best known for its Total War series of games – including the popular Total War Rome. These games are battlefield simulations that actually work similarly to the original Warhammer titles, just on a larger scale, so we’re likely looking at several games which will see the Total War formula applied to the Warhammer world.
The deal does not include any rights to create games based on the Warhammer 40k license, however. That property still lies firmly with Relic, a studio under the struggling publisher THQ, which is responsible for the Warhammer 40k RTS games, and Warhammer 40k: Space Marine, a third-person shooter set in the same war.
The game rights to Warhammer previously belonged to EA who published the still-barely-active Warhammer Online MMORPG back in 2008, which was developed by their great RPG studio, BioWare.
As in all of their deals, Games Workshop has retained core creative control of the property with the option to veto any creative decisions on the part of Sega.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the Total War series, but only because I don’t find historical battle very interesting, not because the games are poorly crafted. Sticking the Warhammer world into their formula should bring about a whole new crop of fans for the game studio.
It should be noted that Sega currently has “multiple” games planned in conjunction with Games Workshop, but no titles have been shared, and the release dates are only announced as “beyond 2013.”