Relic will end the Company of Heroes Online open beta next month as it works out what's next for the popular RTS series.

In a post on the official Company of Heroes website, Relic signed off with this message to fans: "We are excited to reveal the next evolution of the series in the near future."

The open beta will end on 31st March "to evaluate the next steps for the Company of Heroes series", Relic said. Could publisher THQ be shutting the game down for good?

Players can no longer purchase COHO Cash from the website, but they will be able to spend any purchased COHO Cash in the game until 31st March.

Relic will also honour any COHO Cash Card redemptions on the website until 1st March 1.

"As a token of our immense gratitude for participating in this Beta program, any player who registered before 1st February can purchase a copy of Company of Heroes Gold Edition for only $4.99 from the THQ online store," Relic added.

"We sincerely appreciate your participation, support, and feedback in helping us to design the future of the Company of Heroes franchise. We are excited to reveal the next evolution of the series in the near future."

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

THQ could afford to do this by charging for micro-transactions; goods offered to players for real money. These typically granted access to elusive abilities or sped-up game progress.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

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