It's a strange thing, the video game industry. The people who publish big games will sometimes cancel, move or overhaul them entirely. Nothing wrong with any of that, but one big problem is that along the way, some of those publishers will clam up. They will refuse to give straight answers or talk about their plans.
When THQ filed for bankruptcy yesterday, they were very candid about their plans and even released a document with a chart on all of their upcoming games. That chart did not mention Warhammer: 40,000: Dark Millenium, a game that was supposed to be developed by a studio called Vigil (the company behind Darksiders). Earlier this year, THQ had announced that they were cancelling the multiplayer elements of Dark Millenium and turning it into a single-player game.
I reached out to THQ's PR folks for clarification. The resulting exchange was rather... baffling. I'll post the whole thing so you can see for yourselves.
KOTAKU: Is Warhammer: 40,000: Dark Millenium still in production at Vigil?
PR: Development of that title ceased a while ago and that was announced in March 2012. No details of future titles from Vigil have been released at this time.
KOTAKU: In March, THQ announced that Warhammer: 40,000: Dark Millenium would be turned into a single-player game, not that development had ceased.
As [THQ CEO] Brian Farrell wrote in a press release at the time: "As previously announced, we have been actively looking for a business partner for the game as an MMO. However, based on changing market dynamics and the additional investment required to complete the game as an MMO, we believe the right direction for us is to shift the title from an MMO to a premium experience with single and multiplayer gameplay, robust digital content and community features."
Are you telling me that wasn't true? Development ceased entirely?
PR: Development of the DMO ceased, and beyond that we haven't provided any updates on the status of the game or made any announcements of Vigil's next project(s). We don't have anything more to share at this point.
KOTAKU: Wait, didn't you just tell me that development of the title ceased?
PR: I apologise, to clarify, development of the DMO ceased.
At this point, the PR representative CCed a second, internal THQ PR representative.
KOTAKU: What does DMO stand for?
THQ PR: Dark Millennium Online, our cancelled MMO.
KOTAKU: OK, so you're saying the game was cancelled, not turned into a single-player game?
I just want to get this as clear as possible so our readers understand what's going on and know whether or not to expect a single-player Dark Millenium game coming from Vigil at any point in the future.
THQ PR: I'm saying we have made any announcements about what the resulting game would be, if any. There's nothing to share until Vigil is ready to announce its next project.
So what does this mean for the future of Warhammer: 40,000: Dark Millenium? My guess: nothing good. THQ's bankruptcy filing documents say that Vigil is currently working on a game codenamed "Crawler". We have no idea whether that's referring to any sort of Warhammer game. And THQ isn't talking.