I am increasingly worried that DoW3 will not be a landmark title. The minimal press coverage of DoW3 indicates that there is little to no reason to be excited. Of course, some of you will quickly argue that the press is a poor indicator of hype, but the fact is, a landmark title in the making is as much a story as its release. Let me be clear, I was and am a huge fan of Company of Heroes 2. However, that game, when released after a somewhat bumpy development cycle was hailed as an ambitious WW2 platform which would expand for 5 years.
Needless to say, 2 years after release the last of the new content came out and after that came silence. The game which was touted as an ambitious platform was quietly put aside. Enter Dawn of War 3. A landmark title establishes a core audience upon release and builds on it throughout its post release lifetime. However, already, the absence of any real hype outside of the hardcore Dawn of War fans (and even among them, a lot are wavering for reasons debated in other threads) makes me think that this game will make little splash on release. A landmark title is one which promises and teases, whose every information release is newsworthy. The first trailer was such material. However, as the first screenshots and even gameplay videos came out, the attention dropped. In short, Dawn of War 3 has alienated (again, explained in other threads) a part of its core audience without having gained a new prospective one. Again, there will be arguments that I am judging before release a game I haven't played, but I am not discussing the product here, I am discussing the debatable strategy which is producing a title whose potential for growth is limited. Dawn of War 1 was a success because it made 40k so cool that I got into 40k because of Dawn of War. It was a game which had that ability to sell itself and then some just through its oozing quality and passion. Unlike its trailer, Dawn of War 3 doesn't sell me the 40k premise, it sells a 40k coating.
In addition, the writing, the graphics, the gameplay have not calmed anyone, quite the opposite, there is a profound anxiety among fans that this game will be a decent RTS on release and within 2-3 years will become just another RTS title from a few years ago. Meanwhile, Dawn of War 1 will remain on the pedestal.
To all you passionate believers, I want Dawn of War 3 to succeed, but I want Relic to show that its best days are ahead of it, not behind it. After all, these are the minds which brought us Homeworld, Company of Heroes and Dawn of War. Yet, their last landmark title remains Company of Heroes 1 from 2006. Everything since then has been good, but not quite as high as what came before. I remain hopeful to be proven wrong.