Axis & Allies Online Announced

You may or may not have heard of Beamdog – they’re a videogames developer that’s been around since 2009, but mostly they’ve created games in the realm of Dungeons & Dragons licensed tactical RPGs, and are probably best known for re-imagining Bioware classics like Baldur’s Gate.

They’ve entered our own sphere of influence though because of their latest announcement – Axis & Allies Online. It’s worth pointing out that other than it’s existence and some choice info-snippets (which we’ll get to shortly), there’s not a lot to be known about this project right now. There’s not even screenshots.

Still, I wish they’d chosen another name for a digital adaptation of a beloved board war game – I’m getting flashbacks to a period of time not so long ago where so many franchises got an ‘Online‘ spin-off game, and they were always generally F2P browser games that were often quite cynical in the way a lot of free mobile games today. Ubisoft especially had a whole thing where they were going through what seemed like their entire back-catalogue to make spin-offs.

It’s unlikely Beamdog’s project will be that bad though – they don’t have a history of making games like that, for one thing, and if you ever fancy popping over to our sister website Pocket Tactics and looking up some reviews of Beamdog games, you’ll get a sense for their calibre.

As to what we actually know about A&AO: according to the press packet it’s specifically going to be an adaptation of the Axis & Allies 1942 Second Edition rules. It will accommodate 1-5 players across one-vs-ones, hotseat multiplayer (specifically for 2 or 5 players, apparently), online multiplayer and solo vs. AI bots.

You’ll be able to play in real time or asynchronously, there will be tutorials and selectable victory conditions. Also, music? That’s as far as official PR-stuff goes, but if you do a little digging you can find your way to the project’s official website, where there is an interesting FAQ document that outlines the main differences between the physical game, and the digital one (mainly around what automation does to the game process and admin).

It seems a bit of a weird fit for an RPG developer, but it’s interesting to note that the Beamsog CEO is a big Axis & Allies fan. Either the IP was being floated anyway for a digital adaptation, or Trent Oster chanced his arm and just asked. Either way, Axis & Allies: Online is happening. As a final insight as to how this may turn out, here’s a quote from Mr. Oster:

“We know there is an appetite for an online version of Axis & Allies within the tabletop community, not necessarily to replace the board game, but as a way to play when your gaming group can’t meet up, or when you don’t have time to commit to a full game. Our online version is a great way for new players to discover the fun of this classic game.”

Axis & Allies Online will be releasing into Steam Early Access for $19.99, but we don’t know when. More info as we get it.