The week before Danny Bilson left THQ in May 2012, he still had hope. He had a plan: Darksiders 2 from Vigil. Metro: Last Light from 4AGames. Company of Heroes 2 from Relic Entertainment. Enter the Dominatrix, the standalone expansion for Saints Row the Third, from Volition. South Park: The Stick of Truth, in production at Obsidian Entertainment. Homefront 2 at Crytek UK. And then there was the unannounced stuff: the next-gen game from Turtle Rock we now know is called Evolve. Patrice Désilets' 1666 at THQ Montreal. The portfolio is long and impressive.
How much do you know about marine biology? Now, I'm not talking about that creepy subset of real-world science where you learn how clams can get depressed or how sea urchins mate (the answer is "carefully"). I'm talking about Space Marine biology. Because whether or not you're excited about Relic's upcoming 3rd person action game could probably come down to how clued up you are.
Space Marine's greatest potential banana skin was always going to be the timing of its release. In a year that will see no shortage of epic, cinematic action shooters, it faces a tough gig to stand out from the crowd while conforming to expectations.
Danny Bilson doesn't do interviews like other high ranking videogame executives. The THQ core games boss is happy to talk frankly about not only announced games, but unannounced games. This, we're not used to.
The life of a Space Marine is not an easy one. Setting aside blood-soaked galaxy-spanning conflict and the fact that simply writing down the date in the year 40,000 is a bit of a faff, just look at that one-ton outfit they're clad in.
In the grim darkness of the far future, there is nothing but war. But in the nicely decorated offices of Relic in downtown Vancouver, there is nothing but love. Love for Warhammer. Plastic and lead space marine miniatures are carefully arranged on almost every desk, monitor and cubical divider; there are entire rooms set aside for lunchtime games of 40k; and the lobby's home not only to a giant Blood Raven space marine whose sawblade we all diligently pose our necks against for photos, but a nine-foot statue tribute to the god-emperor of mankind.