Relic Entertainment will move its Warhammer 40K strategy games over to Steam in a bid to keep their multiplayer portions alive.
The original Dawn of War game and its expansions recently underwent a major update to preserve multiplayer, Dawn of War franchise design lead Philippe Boulle wrote on the Steam forum.
The game had relied on the GameSpy service, due to shutdown soon, for multiplayer matchmaking, and Dawn of War 2 is a Games for Windows Live title. Both are in the process of migrating over to Steam.
As a result all titles in the franchise are being updated to use the same matchmaking and backend developed for Relic's World War 2 strategy title Company of Heroes 2.
"This will not only mean multiplayer can continue on these titles, but the matchmaking experience will be improved," Boulle said. "Matchmaking/login and so on will thus all be through Steam."
While great news for players, the migration will cause some technical issues in the short term. There will be bugs, Boulle warned: "Ultimately, we felt that it would be better to get the update out in a slightly imperfect state in time to prevent an outright interruption in multiplayer play. So, bugs."
But fear not: "We are committed to tackling these bugs and getting all titles to be fully Steam enabled."
Boulle said the update, and a pledge of continued support for the Dawn of War games, was a "big step up" for Relic.
"It's a concrete signal of support for the Dawn of War franchise from us and from Sega as a whole," he said.
"Ever since Sega acquired Relic we've been working on continued support for the Dawn of War back catalogue. It's great for some of this to see the light of day at last.
"I came to Relic in 2005 to work on the product that became Dark Crusade and went on to run narrative and campaign on both Dawn of War 2 and Chaos Rising.
"To be working on these titles again is a joy, and on behalf of all of us, I'd like to thank the fans who have continued to keep DOW in their hearts. You guys rock."
Anyone for Dawn of War 3?