Warhammer 40k RPG stillborn

On the 28th of January, 2008 it was declared that Dark Heresy and all the role-playing games published by Black Industries for Games Workshop were being discontinued. No specific reason was given, beyond a statement that the company had chosen to focus on the commercial success of their novels. (It should be noted this move follows the appointment of a new chief executive and the cancellation of its interim dividend after £192,000 of losses in the six months to December 2007).

If you didn’t hear during its three-day lifespan, Games Workshop finally decided to release a Warhammer 40k roleplaying game, titled Dark Heresy, along the lines of its popular and well-regarded Warhammer Fantasy RPG. The game went live on December 10, 2007, and the 200 limited edition copies sold out in six minutes. The full release was January 25–three days before cancellation.  Plans were to release the Dark Heresy as the first core book, focusing on the Imperium, with the intermediate book due 18 months later (rumored to hold the Space Marines, among others) and the advanced book another 18 months after that. To hold fans over until the line climaxes in 2011, six to eight splatbooks were to be released during the 18-month dead zones between products.

However, things are not to be. I find the news especially odd, since the fans have been chomping on the bit for a full-blown RPG, which would certainly sell better than a bunch of crappy game novels.

To actually make the game playable, Black Industries released some free vehicle rules for the game, which I assume would have turned into a sourcebook later in the year if the plug hadn’t been pulled.

The official announcement states that the last release will be Disciples of the Dark Gods in September. The other two releases will be Purge the Unclean, an “adventure anthology,” and the Inquisitor’s Handbook, an advanced player’s handbook. Disciples of the Dark Gods is a guide the “enemies of the Imperium,” so your players can have something to fight. You can read about them on the Black Industries Forthcoming Products page.


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