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Servers for COH1 to continue on Steamworks

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There's a new letter to the community from Producer Greg Wilson at Relic, detailing the upcoming migration of servers for the original Company of Heroes game from Quazal to Steamworks.

Dear CoH Community,

Welcome to the latest Company of Heroes 2 “Letter from the Producer.” This time round we are going to focus on the original Company of Heroes and some changes coming to that game’s online component.

The original game launched six years ago and we have been humbled by just how popular the series has become and how dedicated you, our community, have been.

As many of you are aware our current online system is underpinned by middleware from a company called Quazal. In 2010 Quazal was purchased by Ubisoft. At that time we weren’t sure what that meant for our online service, but obviously we were concerned that something would change. We performed an assessment of what it would take to remove Quazal and switch to Steamworks (which was working in our DOW2 series), but due to a combination of various things, that switch wasn’t approved.

Last year we found out that the service supporting COH1 was going to be terminated so we immediately started making plans about how to transition to Steamworks. Unfortunately, it was quickly obvious that we didn’t have the time to focus on it ourselves, and that due to the timing of COH2’s server features coming online (after Quazal’s shutdown date), that a number of COH1 features would cease to be supported.

We were happy to find out that Smoking Gun Interactive, a studio founded by key members of the original COH game, was available to help us solve the first problem and we have been working with them to perform a port of COH1 to Steam, with as many of the original online features working on the new platform as possible.

Post-acquisition by Sega, we are very pleased to announce that we are able to properly support both the COH1 fanbase and our release of COH2. The first decision that was greenlit in this regard was to begin development on server features that would support both COH2 and COH1 on top of the Steamworks platform. This is crucial for features like leaderboards, server side matchmaking and game result validation, all of which ensure that our players have a fun, trusted, competitive community to play in. It also safeguards the COH1 multiplayer experience against any future disruptions like the sale of Relic.

Below is a list which is intended to bring you up to speed on some relevant details about what we are building and how we’re hoping to bring both eras of this franchise to the level of online infrastructure we envision as quickly as possible.

COH 2

  • The launch date has been announced: June 25th.
  • The Closed Beta date will be announced early next week!
  • Our new server features won’t be ready until mid-May, but we are hoping to run another small test for them in June.
  • We’ll have full details about our planned launch features in the coming months.
  • We’ll also share a feature roadmap in the future, in order to bring our community into the conversation about how we are prioritizing the features.


COH 1
  • April 8th we are hoping to have our “opt-in” version of COH1 available on Steam. Using your key for the original game, you’ll be able to download this full version, make a new account and start playing.
  • We’ll provide a specific list of supported online features shortly.
  • On May 7th the Quazal servers will shut down.
  • We’re investigating the possibility of creating an online archive of all the final data from the leaderboards, statistics, etc, to honor the gamers who have played so much for the last 6 years.
  • We will also make a tool allowing players who can no longer access Quazal to find out their key for COH1 using their login & pwd information for COH1.
  • The feature roadmap for COH2 will also include details on what kind of a feature release schedule we’re hoping to achieve with COH1.


It is extremely rare in the industry to maintain servers for a six year old game but we feel it is important to support our dedicated fanbase. Our long term vision for both products in this series is that we service them both with regular activity and updates.

I hope this answers a few questions. I’ll post a new letter about progress on Company of Heroes 2 soon!

Cheers,

Greg Wilson
Producer – Company of Heroes 2
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