Women Responsible for Company of Heroes' Developer Death SentencedThe two women responsible for the tragic death last year of Company of Heroes developer Brian Wood have been sentenced to prison, The Herald reports.

Jordyn Weichert and Samantha Bowling, both from Oak Harbor, Washington, were both steering the vehicle that collided with Wood's car last September, killing the developer and injuring his pregnant wife. Two friends of the girls responsible were also killed.

Samantha Bowling was sentenced to five years prison on three counts of vehicular homicide, while Weichert, who was driving at the time, was sentenced to eight years.

Both women were charged because of the nature of the crash; Weichert was apparently removing her sweater at the time, with Bowling holding the wheel while she did so. As the car veered out of control, Weichert grabbed the wheel while Bowling still had her hands on it, resulting in the car careening across traffic and colliding with Wood's vehicle.

Brian's wife Erin gave birth to a daughter earlier this year.

Link ChevronTwo sentenced for car crash that killed 3 [The Herald]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Oh, old man Company of Heroes, so good to see you again. Pull a comfy chair up to the fire and tell us another war story. It must hurt, having seen your younger, free to pay brother pass away so unexpectedly last year, but at least we’ve still got you. And what’s that? You’re not ready to go gently into that good night yourself yet? You have a healthy new patch laden with six extra maps and a bewildering array of balance changes? Excellent.

PC Gamer
Company of Heroes Online is shutting down on March 31, but that hasn’t stopped the developers [..]

Company of Heroes Online Goes Dark March 31Company of Heroes Online, whose beta began in July, will be closed down entirely on March 31.

In-game currency - COHO Cash - is no longer for sale, and players are being urged to spend any balance they have pronto.

As a token, THQ is offering anyone who registered with the beta before Feb. 1 a copy of Company of Heroes Gold for $4.99 through the THQ online store. The code for the game is available through the Company of Heroes Online closure FAQ.

Relic Entertainment, the game's maker, said it is "still working on our plans for the Company of Heroes franchise and are not ready to discuss details yet,' that doesn't sound too optimistic for the chances of this game being released as a full retail version. Especially if, as Joystiq notes, THQ's other freemium venture, WWE Online, also has been shut down.

Company of Heroes Online Beta Shutting Down [Game Politics]


Bring Back World War II Commenter Bipolar.Bear.Disorder is missing the good old days of World War II in today's installment of Speak-Up On Kotaku.

Am I the only one left in the gaming community that misses World War II games? With everyone's intense focus on modern and future warfare, I feel as if World War II video games, my favorite genre, have fallen a bit by the wayside. Of course, World War II games are still being released, but not on the constant scale that used to be the norm. I understood that some people had begun to feel as if the era had been overdone and cliché, but I must admit, I really miss FPS games where aim was more important than perks, and headshots didn't have to come from sniper rifles.

With this sudden influx of contemporary war games set in the present and future, I feel like we as gamers lose an important facet that was prominent in the more well-made productions. I can't really explain what I mean by it, though. To me, it just feels like games like Modern Warfare and Medal of Honor miss some important element that was in their earlier iteration. It isn't the scope of the war, or even the actual combat itself. I just don't think that war games set in a modern period have the same "magic," for lack of a better term; that games like Call of Duty 2, Brothers in Arms, and Company of Heroes had. Maybe it's a sense of righteousness, with a clear sense of who the enemy is and what our goals are. Maybe since it took place "so many years ago," it seems as if it's another time in another place.

I just don't understand why gamers and developers had begun to ignore World War II. Maybe it was being overdone, but I'm pretty sure developers hadn't used the era to its fullest potential. There are so much other stories left to tell. There's so much things developers hadn't done yet. This current batch of modern-combat games cannot match the ones that took us up Normandy Beach, fighting through once-pristine French streets, to reach the city of Berlin.

Maybe that's what's missing in these games set in modern conflicts. In this day and age, undoubtedly fueled by countless government scandals and corruption, any war taking place seems wrong and, well, stupid. Not getting into any specifics here, but the general populace had developed distaste for war and bloodshed. For patriotism and pride. That's where World War II games came in. They weren't meant to trivialize the war, neither making it bearable and "cutesy," or making in into the Hollywood-style action-paced machismo slugfest that dominate the current shooting galleries. They were a sort of remembrance, in a way, for the countless men and women who have died in such a tragic war. In World War II, that was both humanities highest point and lowest point in history. It'd be a shame to forget it in such a quickly growing medium.

About Speak-Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have that little box on the front page of Kotaku. You know, the one with "Got something to say?" written in it? That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Just make sure to include #speakup in your comment so we can find it. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best #speakup posts we can find and highlight it here.


Heroic Company Of Heroes Dev Lives On In His Daughter In September Company of Heroes Online lead designer Brian Wood was killed in a car crash. His pregnant wife Erin survived. NBC's Today talks with the widow about how she's keeping Brian's memory alive for her newborn daughter.

Brian Wood lost his life in September of 2010, but through his actions a new life was preserved. Following the accident that took his life, the gaming community rallied behind his wife Erin, donating funds to help ease the grief of losing her husband with a new baby on the way.

Revisiting the story, NBC's Today featured Erin and her two-month-old child Sierra Grace Wood, exploring how Brian's memory will be preserved. It's a touching end to a tragic tale.


Memorial Fund Started For Family of Dev Killed in Car Crash Friends of Brian Wood, the Company of Heroes developer who lost his life in a tragic car accident on Friday, have established a trust fund to aid his wife and their unborn child during this trying time. Every dollar counts.

As reported earlier this week, Company of Heroes Online lead designer Brian Wood of Relic Entertainment lost his life on Friday night, when his Subaru Outback was struck head-on by an out-of-control Chevy Blazer. The 33-year-old developer was killed in the crash. According to his wife, his last act was swerving his vehicle to take the full brunt of the impact himself, saving her life and that of the couple's unborn child.

Radical Entertainment's Szymon Mazus, a close friend of the family, now points us towards a trust fund established to aid Erin and her child as they deal with this tragic situation.

"Brian was a very close friend. He was just the kindest most down to earth person you could ever hope to meet, as is Erin. We have set up a trust fund to help Erin and the baby during this very difficult time and I was hoping you would be willing to post a blurb about this and a link to www.brianwoodmemorialtrust.com on your site. We, family and friends, would be incredibly grateful."

I can only imagine how deeply this tragedy affects Erin and her child. With so much to worry about now that Brian Wood has passed on, not having to worry about financial matters would certainly be a large weight off of her shoulders, while helping ensure that the pair have the sort of life that Brian would have wanted for them.

Every single dollar does count. Imagine the relief we could give Erin and her child if everyone who read this donated just one dollar to the fund. I've donated, and I only have $35 in the bank right now. If I can do it, so can you.

Click the link below to find out how you can contribute.

The Brian Wood Memorial Trust [Official Page]


Company Of Heroes Dev Gave His Life To Save His Family Further information regarding the tragic death of Relic Entertainment's Brian R. Wood in an automobile accident Friday night reveals that the developer's final act saved the life of his wife and their unborn child.

As we reported yesterday, the lead designer on Company of Heroes Online was driving his Subaru Outback with his wife Erin of five years, pregnant with their first child, when they were struck by a speeding Chevy Blazer driven by 21 year-old Jordyn B. Weichert.

The 33-year-old developer was killed in the crash. His wife and their child survived the crash, thanks to Brian's last-minute sacrifice.

According to Erin Wood, she and the baby would not have survived the crash had Brian not swerved at the last minute, taking the brunt of the impact himself.

"All the policeman say that if we had hit the car head-on all of us would be dead. At the very last second (Brian) braked really hard and turned right so that he would be put in the path of the SUV and not me and the baby, and that is the only thing that saved us both.

Rather than a head-on collision, the Chevy Blazer struck the driver's side of the Wood's Subaru, crushing the roof and killing Brian instantly. His wife escaped with a non-life-threatening head injury.

Along with being a lead designer with Relic Entertainment, Wood also sang baritone with the Espiritu Choir in North Vancouver and enjoyed spending time outdoors.

He will be remembered fondly by his co-workers, his family, and of course, his wife and child.

"He was always sacrificing himself for me and the baby," said Erin Wood.

"He was the most amazing warm-hearted man you would ever meet who loved his job, loved his family, and was just my rock. I am not quite sure how I am supposed to live the rest of my life without him. He truly was a gift and I wouldn't change a thing of any of our moments together. (The baby is) due Nov. 5 so it will come quick and then I look forward to seeing little glimpses of Brian in our baby and that gives me a lot of strength right now."

According to Washington State police, evidence of drug use by the driver and passengers of the Blazer was discovered at the scene, and the occupants of the vehicle were known to police.

The driver of the Blazer, 21-year-old Jordan Weichert, was allegedly removing a sweater while driving, asking her 22-year-old passenger Samantha Bowling to take the wheel. Both survived the accident. Weichert is being charged with three counts of vehicular homicide and one of vehicular assault. Bowling is being investigated for the same charges.

The other two passengers in the Blazer died in the crash, 25-year-old Jacob Quistorf and 26-year-old Francis Malloy.

Brian's father, Ed Wood, says the family harbors no anger towards Weichert and Bowling, but feels they need to be put away so the tragedy doesn't happen again.

"I don't feel a sense of anger. I feel a sense of profound loss. I don't feel a need for vengeance or anything of that sort. But I do believe these people need to be put away. They are going to kill somebody else and themselves and they need to be put away just for the good of society."

North Van dad-to-be's final act saves family [The Province - Thanks Moc]


Company Of Heroes Developer Killed In Car AccidentBrian R. Wood, lead designer of Company of Heroes Online and a key player in the development of the series as a whole, was tragically killed on Friday night in an automobile accident north of Seattle.

Wood was behind the wheel of his Subaru Outback, with his wife Erin a passenger, when they were struck head-on by a Chevy Blazer driven by 21 year-old Jordyn B. Weichert. Two passengers in Weichert's car were killed, while it's alleged that the young driver was also under the influence of drugs at the time of the accident.

The Washington State Patrol say Weichert could be charged with vehicular homicide and vehicular assault once she is released from hospital, while another passenger in her car, 22 year-old Samantha R. Bowling, may also be charged with vehicular homicide.

Wood was 33. His wife, six months pregnant, is "hospitalized but in improving condition".

Our thoughts go out to Wood's family and everyone at Relic Entertainment.

Vehicular homicide charges possible in Whidbey crash [Seattlepi]

Announcement - Valve
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Company of Heroes redefines real time strategy gaming by bringing the sacrifice of heroic soldiers, war-ravaged environments, and dynamic battlefields to life.