For a brief moment a few years back it looked as Games Workshop video games were falling off the grid. Now you can’t move for video game adaptations of its classic tabletop games. Arguably two of the biggest PC exclusives of the entire year are both Warhammer-based - Total War: Warhammer 2 and W40K: Dawn of War 3. The only game which can seemingly top them on this front is StarCraft Remastered, but that’s its own separate phenomenon.
That quality pair are supplemented by a seemingly endless stream of smaller titles and tie-ins, ranging from Battlefleet Gothic: Armada and Man O’ War: Corsair to much smaller titles such as Warhammer 40K: Sanctus Reach. Games Workshop has taken over the world and it’s partying like it’s 1982.
However, despite the influx of quality titles, is Games Workshop still a brand you can trust? Games Workshop has oftentimes been notorious for trying to maintain stringent control over its IP, though there’s no denying it has loosened its grip somewhat in recent years.
For every Total War: Warhammer there’s always a Space Hulk: Deathwing or Warhammer Quest waiting in the wings. A steaming pile of mediocrity that has you questioning whether you should be handing over a wodge of cash for the next game to feature your beloved Skaven.
Take the last six years alone for example. The first few years started slow, then we saw THQ go under, surrendering the rights to Warhammer games. This is when we began to see a major uptick in the quantity of Games Workshop titles, with indies keen to get their mitts on some beloved IPs like Blood Bowl, Space Hulk and Dark Future. In total a staggering 38 Games Workshop videogame adaptations have launched between 2011 and 2017, 22 in the last three years alone.
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II – Retribution
- Warhammer 40,000: Kill Team
- Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine
- Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes
- Blood Bowl: Chaos Edition
- Warhammer Quest
- Space Hulk
- Chainsaw Warrior
- Talisman: Prologue
- Warhammer 40,000: Armageddon
- Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf
- Warhammer 40,000: Carnage
- Warhammer 40,000: Storm of Vengeance
- Talisman: Digital Edition
- Space Hulk Ascension
- Blood Bowl II
- Mordheim: City of the Damned
- Warhammer: The End Times - Vermintide
- Warhammer 40,000: Regicide
- The Horus Heresy: Drop Assault
- Warhammer 40,000: Deathwatch Tyranids Invasion
- Legacy of Dorn: Herald of Oblivion
- Chainsaw Warrior: Lords of the Night
- Total War: Warhammer
- Eisenhorn: Xenos
- Battlefleet Gothic: Armada
- Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade
- Space Hulk Deathwing
- Warhammer: Arcane Magic
- Talisman: The Horus Heresy
- Man O’ War: Corsair
- Total War: Warhammer II
- Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III
- Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach
- Warhammer 40,000: Space Wolf
- The Horus Heresy: Battle of Tallarn
- Dark Future: Blood Red States
There’s no denying that Games Workshop’s two Warhammer worlds in particular are an incredibly rich resource for storytelling. Over the last 30 years their worlds have been lavished with remarkable depth, thousands of figurines and hundreds of books. It’s the very reason why a lot of us have a soft spot for Games Workshop, but it becomes tough to stomach 22 games in 26 months, even if there are some great titles lurking in there. Games Workshop is in serious danger of kicking off franchise fatigue. The names are starting to blur; the onslaught meaning some are releasing without the attention they truly deserve. The Warhammer name has also meant something special to fans, and every time Games Workshop dishes it out it loses a little more of its lustre.
Putting the shoe on the other foot for a moment however, it’s evidently a money maker for Games Workshop right now. Warhammer is everywhere; it’s unavoidable. All Games Workshop needs to do is dish out the licenses, dictate the rules, and reap the rewards.