Warhammer Online closing 18 December

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Mythic has announced that it will be closing the doors on the massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) based on Games Workshop's Warhammer universe.

(Credit: Mythic Entertainment)

After five years, Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning will be closing its doors, developer Mythic has announced on its website.

The studio did not cite the usual reason for the closure of an MMORPG — that is, the lack of a fanbase — instead stating that Mythic's licence with Games Workshop was due to expire.

"We here at Mythic have built an amazing relationship working with Games Workshop, creating and running Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning over the last eight years," the announcement reads. "Unfortunately, as with all licensing deals, they do eventually come to end, and on December 18 2013, we will no longer be operating Warhammer Online."

As such, the company will no longer be selling three-month game time codes or three-month subscriptions.

Warhammer Online peaked at 800,000 players not even a month after its release in September 2008 but had lost more than half its user base by December the same year, dropping to 300,000.

In March of 2009, Mythic announced the closure of 63 of the game's servers, leaving just nine servers active. This was cut down to six servers in February 2011, then three in December 2011.

A new Warhammer MMORPG is currently in development. Warhammer: Eternal Crusade, developed by Behaviour Interactive and published by Activision, is due to hit sometime in 2015.

Age of Reckoning producer Carrie Gouskas penned a farewell message to the game. "Games Workshop has cultivated a world-class IP. We were lucky enough to play in their universe for nearly a decade, with five great long years live," she wrote. "However, like all things, our contract has come to an end. Both Games Workshop and Mythic agreed to part ways, despite how hard it is emotionally on us to let the game go. It has been a tremendous honour to work with Games Workshop, and even though we may be parting ways, our relationship with them remains strong."

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