Company of Heroes 2 goes on sale in June, but a dedicated group of fans will likely continue playing the original 2006 release.
For those players, Sega and developer Relic are announcing that the multiplayer servers will continue to function after a migration to Valve’s Steamworks platform. Company of Heroes previously ran on a middleware server solution called Quazal. In 2010, Ubisoft purchased that company, which put Relic — then a subsidiary of THQ — in a precarious position. Finally, in 2012, Ubisoft informed Relic that it would terminate Relic.
“So we immediately started making plans about how to transition to Steamworks,” Relic producer Greg Wilson wrote on the company blog. “Unfortunately, it was quickly obvious that we didn’t have the time to focus on it ourselves, and that due to the timing of Company of Heroes 2′s server features coming online — after Quazal’s shutdown date — that a number of Company of Heroes 1 features would cease to be supported.”
Relic went out and found help in the form of Smoking Gun Interactive, a studio that former Relic staffers founded. Smoking Gun handled the server port with the goal of getting as many of the original features working as possible.
On April 8, Relic plans to offer a new version of the game with Steamworks support to customers who own the original. Players will have to make a new account. Wilson says the studio is looking into creating an online archive of the final data from Company of Heroes 1.
The developer doesn’t have a list of what is working and what isn’t, but it plans to publish that shortly.
On May 7, Ubisoft will cut off Quazal.