When the dust settled from the auction of THQ's various developers and intellectual properties, we found out that two of our favourite PC strategy makers were suddenly stable-mates. In a very canny move, SEGA picked up Vancouver developer Relic, giving SEGA both the Total War franchise, and Company of Heroes.
Missing from the mix, however, was the fate of Relic's Warhammer 40,000 games, Dawn of War and Space Marine. Also up in the air was Vigil's Dark Millenium, a once 40k MMO, subseuently downgraded to a single-player RPG during THQ's troubles.
That mystery is now solved, and it looks like SEGA has scooped the licensing pool.
According to this Asset Purchase Agreement between THQ and SEGA, it looks like not only has SEGA picked up Relic's Warhammer games, but also what's left of Vigil's, too. Vigil, sadly, was not acquired by anyone in the sell-off, and was shut-down (though many Vigil employees were hurriedly picked up by other studios).
The APA is over 40-pages of dense legalese, but at the very end a list of assets and domain names is mentioned, and includes pretty much everything registered by Vigil for Dark Millenium, from www.wh40kdmo.com to www.warhammer40000darkmillenniumonline.net. Plus, every page of the document referring to transfer of assets includes a space for a Vigil executor to sign.
It also looks like SEGA has picked up all copyright to previous Relic games, excluding the classic PC title Homeworld. We can only wonder if that's something still wholly held by Relic - it's certainly a game the company is proud of, with reviews and art of the game all over its offices.
What this means for SEGA is a clean sweep of the lucrative Warhammer world. It announced last year that Creative Assembly was working on a Warhammer Fantasy game, and now with Relic and what looks like some Vigil assets, it has pretty much all the Warhammer licenses, bar the struggling Warhammer Online. While Vigil's demise is undeniably sad, we're still excited to see Relic and Creative Assembly working side-by-side on one of our favourite settings.