Early this week THQ pulled the rug from under players currently in the open beta for Company of Heroes Online by abruptly announcing that the testing period will end on March 31st as it "evaluates the next steps for the Company of Heroes series. Developer Relic then confirmed that all player data would be wiped following the conclusion of the OB, leaving players scratching their heads (to say the least) over what exactly is going on with the MMO.
Wiping out player data between the open beta and actual game launch never really inspires any confidence, and today THQ confirms its reasons: there will never be an actual launch for Company of Heroes Online now. In their financial report for the third quarter of their 2011 fiscal year, the publisher slips in a little mention that the MMO has been cancelled. That's not the only MMO project it has pulled the plug from: WWE Online has been cancelled as well.
In the fiscal third quarter, the company reevaluated its strategy of adapting certain Western content for free-to-play online games in Asian markets. As a result, the company's fiscal third quarter non-GAAP results exclude a charge of $9.9 million related to the cancellation of Company of Heroes Online and WWE Online.
That's not to say that the publisher is hurting financially (it notes it enjoyed a very strong holiday quarter thanks in no small part to demand for its uDraw GameTablet Wii peripheral), but THQ has seen fit to align its interests toward the production of new IP (like inSANE), as well as its casual/social and family gaming business.