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Total War Dev Apologizes Amidst Community Backlash, Drops Price Of Total War: Pharaoh

"We see the confusion, frustration, and the distrust of us across the community and honestly, it breaks our hearts," Creative Assembly vice president Roger Collum said.


The Total War franchise will see some significant updates in the weeks and months ahead, as developer Creative Assembly has now apologized for recent mistakes amidst community backlash.

In a blog posted to the official Total War website titled "A Message from Total War's Leadership Team," Creative Assembly vice president Roger Collum apologized to players directly by saying, "We are sorry," and outlined steps the developer would be taking in order to help rebuild trust with the community.

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Now Playing: Total War: PHARAOH - Official Announcement Trailer

"It has been a difficult few months, and we recognize that we have made mistakes when it comes to our relationship with you all," Collum said. "It's been a constant conversation internally on how we can get back to solid ground. What's clear is that it won't be easy and that it will take time and effort."

Part of that effort will be to lower the price of the latest entry in the franchise, Total War: Pharaoh, which released in October 2023. The game currently retails for $60 and has mixed reviews on Steam, with many of its negative reviews remarking that the amount of content on offer in Pharaoh doesn't seem worth $60. Creative Assembly apparently agrees, as it will be reducing the price of Pharaoh to $40 and removing higher-priced editions of the game like the Deluxe and Dynasty editions. All owners of the game will be refunded the difference between the new price and the version they purchased through Steam. In addition, Creative Assembly will be making Total War: Pharaoh's first DLC coming in early 2024 free rather than paid as originally planned.

Much of the criticism from the Total War community seems focused on the studio's practice of selling expensive DLC. It's a consensus frequently found in negative reviews for Total War: Warhammer III, with many users also remarking on how Creative Assembly treats those in the community with criticism or negative comments related to those practices. Looking at recent negative reviews on Steam, one phrase attributed to Creative Assembly pops up time and time again: "The right to discuss is a privilege--it is not an entitlement you earn by playing the game." Amidst a wave of users being banned from the game's official forums earlier this year, a member of the Creative Assembly outlined what was and wasn't allowed on the forums, and in their post included the now infamous phrase that for some in the community has come to define how the developer communicates with its customers.

Creative Assembly is now trying to "work towards a more transparent, and consistent relationship" with its community, according to Collum.

Collum outlined changes coming to Total War: Warhammer III to address fan concerns over its DLC prices and the amount of content contained within them. The game's recent Shadows of Change DLC will receive a large free update in order to better meet player expectations. The game's next DLC, Thrones of Decay, was originally slated to release before year's end, but will instead launch in April 2024. Collum said the team has work to do on Thrones of Decay in order "to make sure that we don't repeat our past mistakes, and to give you the amount of content that you rightly expect from us at these price points."

Collum ended his letter to the community by once again apologizing for the studio's missteps, and pledging to move forward in a more positive direction.

"Where we make mistakes in this next part of our journey, we'll work hard to act faster to address them, to iterate whilst we learn from those moments, and to always be taking steps in the right direction," Collum said. "We hope that you can find the patience for us as we find our footing again, and we hope in the coming months we can prove to you with actions along with words."

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