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James York talks Warhammer Odyssey, the upcoming mobile MMORPG

If you haven’t heard of it yet, Warhammer: Odyssey is an upcoming MMORPG for mobile.

While a mobile MMORPG has been done before, just the thought of this type of game on a smartphone immediately elicits both intrigue and skepticism. It’s that intrigue that led us to interview James York, a co-founder at Virtual Realms, a mobile-focused game studio based in Bangkok, Thailand.

For readers who might not be all that familiar with Warhammer as a franchise, can you give us a bit of background?

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Warhammer has a grimmer, darker background compared to a lot of other fantasy settings. The world is populated by a variety of familiar races (human, dwarfs, elves, orcs to name a few), nowhere feels truly safe either threatened by the feral hordes (such as beastmen or the greenskin tribes) or the more insidious dark threats of Chaos or the Vampire Counts.

Where does Warhammer Odyssey fall in the lore of the Warhammer universe?

Warhammer: Odyssey falls around the time of the 8th Edition rulebook; it’s a fairly broad area of the timeline with a number of key events and legendary characters.

Tell us more about the game world. What can players expect?

Players will explore a large, open world and journey to a variety of iconic locations within The Old World. They will visit bustling port towns, menacing forests, coastal villages. Each location is unique and distinctive in which players will need to explore to unlock all its mysteries.

An MMORPG is an ambitious project, especially on a mobile device where it’s less common. Why release Warhammer Odyssey on mobile instead of PC or console?

Our roots are in mobile MMORPGs, and the constant evolution of mobile technology has allowed us to really push the boundaries and explore opportunities that weren’t possible a few years ago.

The plan is to release Warhammer Odyssey as a free-to-play product with regular free content updates. Will there be in-game ads and microtransactions?

We do intend to have an in-game store for those who wish to support the development of the game and future content, but we prefer to limit this to cosmetic and quality of life enhancements rather than say items with stats that will enhance a players power level significantly beyond free to play players.

When can fans get their hands on Warhammer Odyssey?

We plan to release Warhammer: Odyssey early this year, but have not set a date just yet. We want to ensure we’re delivering a game we’re happy with rather than rushing.