Lead Writer Matt Daniels has penned a developer diary about the story behind Warhammer. The backstory is an important and integral part of the success of any game and Warhammer is no exception.
Here in the halls of EA Mythic, that phrase has become something of a motto. It's also a kind of goal, too; by the time we launch this game and you, the players, get to step into the world we've created, we hope you'll agree that war really is everywhere.
For the Writing Team, that phrase isn't just a destination, but also a point of departure that leads us to many questions. Why is war everywhere? How did it get there? What objectives are the armies of Order and Destruction fighting over? What effect will those battles have on the larger war? Providing the answers is the job of WAR's writers and Content Designers, and the first place we go to get them is the game's backstory.
As you probably already know, a game's backstory helps to establish its setting and give it a sense of history and scope. In most single-player role-playing games, the backstory tells you everything that's happened right up to the point where you start to play the game. Then, you step in and continue that story, taking it in whatever direction you wish. More often than not, you're fighting to resolve a crisis or defeat a villain. By the time you reach the end of the game, you've saved the day.
In a massively multiplayer game like WAR, there isn't going to be just one player, and there isn't really going to be an end, either. The backstory in WAR, then, has a few additional purposes to serve.
Check out the rest at the Warhammer Online site linked above.