Many people know I think Company of Heroes is the greatest RTS of all time. Today I found out that Company of Heroes Online (CoHO), the free to play spin-off from the CoH series is shutting down. This made me irrationally sad, considering it’s “just a computer game”. I’ve been playing CoHO for at least an hour per day for the past few months and loving it. The main differences between CoH and CoHO are in the MMO style commander that you level up over time to receive new abilities you can use in battle. There is a lot of misinformation around on the internet and after my last successful “Facts, Verdict, Solution”, I thought I’d do one for Company of Heroes Online:
- On the 31st March 2011, CoHO will shut down the beta servers – source
- After 31st March CoHO will no longer exist, there will be no release after beta. Relic is no longer working on the product – source
- Commander data will be lost – source
- Company of Heroes has generally had equal or more players online – source
- It has nothing to do with the death of Brian Wood – source
- Development will continue on CoH and Relic are still continuing the franchise, without CoHO – source
- If you registered before February 1 2011 you can get CoH Gold for $4.99 – source
- The Chinese and Korean versions of CoHO will also be closing – source
This has come as a surprise to myself and a lot of other people. However, I had just been thinking the other day though that the incentive for me to invest money isn’t really high enough. I would have happily paid $15/month of in-game items however there was no need as I was able to buy everything I wanted entirely with in-game currency. The more I played, the more in-game currency I earned. This seems the wrong way around to me as it’s the people that play a lot of CoHO that would be willing to fork out the cash.
It seems that having both CoH and CoHO side-by-side was a watering down of their market. It makes sense that if one has to go then the free to play is the best option. It was obviously not generating enough revenue for them.
The best solution I can see to the problem is for Company of Heroes 2 to be released. While I have inside information that another of their great titles is getting an expansion, I’ve been unable to source info on CoH2. This seems like the logical next step for them to take. We’ve seen it with their Dawn of War franchise with great success. My only hope is they don’t go too far down the path of simplifying the game as the did with DoWII with bad consequences.
I’d also like to see an expansion of CoH set in the modern era. I think this could work really well with the tactical style and upgrade system. I can just imagine driving my ASLAV’s around and upgrading them with slat armor (anti-RPG protection). It would work well for the current “war on terror” with the terrorists having a completely different feel to them and using guerrilla tactics. This would give Relic a 3rd series in using the same core engine and open them up to a lot of new customers. There have been countless numbers of WWII RTS games in the past, however the number of modern day realistic RTS games is a lot lower.
What are your thoughts on Company of Heroes Online closing? Did you play it and are you disappointed as I am?