OverviewVancouver, Canada-based Relic Entertainment develops electronic entertainment. It was founded in May of 1997 by Alex Garden, Luke Moloney, Erin Daly, Aaron Kambeitz, Rob Cunningham, Gary Shaw, and Shane Alfreds.
Operations began in a modest 1600 sq. foot office upstairs from a popular nightclub. In April of 1998, Relic made the move to its new 12,000 sq. foot world class facility in Vancouver's historic Yaletown district.
The studio’s first title was the space shooter Homeworld (1999). Publisher Sierra Entertainment continued the franchise in 2000 with Homeworld: Cataclysm, but by a different development studio.
Their next title Impossible Creatures arrived four years later in 2003, a real-time strategy game for Microsoft Game Studios where the units were animals that could have their genes modified to inherit different traits. It was received fairly well, but received less attention than their first title. Shortly after, a sequel to Homeworld was released as Homeworld 2, also in 2003. Reviews were generally positive, but it made less of an impact than the first game.
In April 2004 the studio was acquired by the publishing house THQ, Inc. for close to $10 million in an all-cash transaction. The acquisition was completed in May. Later that year, the studio released the fantasy strategy title Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War based on the tabletop Warhammer 40,000 universe. Over the years, the studio released various expansions such as Winter Assault (2005), Dark Crusade (2006) and Soulstorm (2008). The last expansion was done by Iron Lore Entertainment Ltd. with less involvement from Relic.
Previously only creating games for computers, the studio’s first and only console title was The Outfit (2006), a shooter set during World War II that was received fairly well, but less than their other titles. Much more successful was the launch of the Company of Heroes franchise, started with Company of Heroes in 2006 and followed up with the Opposing Fronts and Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor expansions in 2007 and 2009 respectively. Again set during World War II, they featured squad-based strategy gameplay.
There were also rumours that Relic was looking to reacquire the Homeworld franchise from publisher Vivendi to create a third game in their sci-fi series. Through the discovery of a document at the trademark office, THQ eventually confirmed that Relic owned the trademark once again, making it possible to create a new title for THQ. However, the IP was eventually bought by Gearbox Software in 2013 and the next game in the Homeworld series, Deserts of Kharak was developed by Blackbird Interactive.
In February 2009, the Dawn of War sequel Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II was released.
Following the closure of parent company THQ in January 2013, the studio was sold to SEGA.
TriviaThe company was named as best PC Developer of 2006 by the gaming website GameSpy.
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