Relic Entertainment announced today that the upcoming Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II - Retribution
will drop Games for Windows support in favor of Valve's Steamworks community platform.
The transition means that Retribution, previously planned as an expansion pack for Dawn of War II
, will instead be released exclusively as a standalone title.
Relic said Games for Windows support will continue for the original Dawn of War II, and for its expansion Chaos Rising, both of which also support Steamworks.
Speaking to PC Gamer
Producer Jeff Lydell said requiring both Games for Windows and Steamworks logins for the current games was harmful to the end-user experience.
"We've always thought this was cumbersome, and only implemented it because back in Dawn of War II
's development, we needed digital distribution and matchmaking features from both platforms," he told the magazine.
Lydell also noted that supporting both platforms "add[ed] a lot of extra complexity and testing time, across the team here at Relic, the QA team and with Microsoft’s certification team."
By going with Steam exclusively, Lydell said he was excited to gain access to features including free weekend trials and cloud saving. He also hinted that the company was "working with Valve on some new exciting features to be announced later."
Support for Games for Windows Live was recently announced for Microsoft's Windows 7 phone
, as well as upcoming Microsoft PC titles
including Age of Empires Online
and Fable III
As part of the announcement, Relic also confirmed a multiplayer beta for Retribution
, complete with Steamworks support, to take place sometime in 2011.