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THQ explains Dark Millenium's new direction

Bilson: "If you liked Space Marine, you're gonna love this thing."

THQ games boss Danny Bilson has offered some detail on how Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millenium Online's realignment from an MMO to a "single-player/multiplayer game with community features" will work.

Speaking in an interview with Ripten, Bilson insisted that much of the core gameplay can be salvaged from the original concept.

"Yes, and the reason is that there was a lot of innovation in that game," he said.

"In particular, the shooting mechanics are real-time, not turn-based. The content is absolutely incredible, and any time anyone ever had any doubts about it, all I had to do was bring them into the room and show them progress on the game. So there's a tremendous amount of content that was built."

Bilson added that the slimmed-down development team at Vigil is "incredibly excited" about the title's new direction.

"You've gotta remember there's five years of development and careful thinking and testing and prototyping and then building involved there. If you saw it, you would easily understand the vision for the future of the game, and when you see it, I think you'll get it completely. It's really awesome."

Earlier this year, THQ announced that it was looking for an external partner to help see the original MMO concept through. Elsewhere in the lengthy Ripten interview Bilson touched on why the publisher failed to find one.

In short, he argued, nobody wants to invest in a subscription-based MMO right now, no matter how good the product might be.

"That's what we were building: a big, ideally subscription-based, MMO," he said.

I can tell you that, unequivocally, certain people who have shipped MMOs, who saw this… a quote was, 'that's better than anything we've ever built.' That's a quote from a room I was in, and that's what kept the conversations going. There was a lot of, 'how do we make this work economically, because it's awesome?'

Bilson insisted that he's now happy THQ decided to scale the project back rather than bring in an investor who might "possibly dilute some of the controls around it."

"When you bring in more opinions, things will change," he added.

"That game is still sitting with the people who invented it five years ago, and honestly, they are incredibly excited about the new direction. That is the absolute truth, and when we announce it, and you speak to them, they'll be able to tell you themselves.

"If you liked Space Marine, you're gonna love this thing. It's much deeper," he concluded.

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