If we really want to talk about the history of 40k....
If I recall correctly (and I'm remembering 25 years back), the initial design was to have a simple wargame including in the boxed sets of citidel figures (which had the same box art as I posted above). This got expanded somewhat into a draft sci-fi wargame called Rogue Trader, which then warped into Warhammer as they felt fantasy was thier core market. The inital design was heavily based on Laserburn (still got my copy somewhere) - see if you can find the link between that and Citadel Minutures in the mid-80's But as wargames didn't sell as well as Role Playing Games, they tried to hedge thier bets (hence Mass Combat Role-Playing Game)
Then some of the boxed sets of Citadel figues came with a coloured sheet of A4 with Warhammer scenerios for you to play with the figues from that box.
Rogue Trader was going to be the the Sci-Fi version, but due to the Boardgame (based on the 2000AD character) Rogue Trooper, it got renamed to Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader. But we're up to about 1987 here - positivley modern!
And the WHFRP came out at about the same time, and quickly became one of my favourite systems - a position it still holds today. And one of the great things is that they have contiuned to develop the world and the systems whilst retaining the core ideas, giving us greater insight all the time. So bring on v3, I for one will be delighted for any new ideas it can give me to present and play the Warhammer world (and new ideas at my age are hard to come by), and I'll be thankful that I didn't try to piss on Bryan Ansells parade when he first had the idea of "You know what? Lets do a redesign of Laserburn!" (my luddite days came when I was 20 and Warhammer battle went 4th edition and I felt they had dumbed it down - I have a feeling it was an age/insecurity thing)