Company of Heroes Online heading West

Free-to-play game in US/Canada this year.

THQ has announced that Company of Heroes Online is heading to the US. Evidently the publisher found success in South Korean and Chinese markets.

This free-to-play conversion of Relic's acclaimed (10/10 on Eurogamer) WWII strategy game bundles the entire single-player campaign while modifying slightly the online multiplayer.

THQ can afford to do this by charging for micro-transactions; goods offered to players for real money. These typically grant access to elusive abilities or speed-up game progress. They're corner-cutters rather than givers of an unfair advantage.

Company of Heroes Online also has a persistent online progress path. Commanders (Axis or Allied) pick a class and then further their abilities by spending points earned during battle. You might pick to have faster units, for instance, or a more destructive mortar team.

Multiplayer games in COH Online can support up to eight different players at one time.

Company of Heroes will be available in the US and Canada this year. There's no word of a European release (we're chasing), but that shouldn't stop you trying the game on foreign servers.

There's a short Q&A on the official Company of Heroes Online website; head there for screenshots, videos and tons more information.

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