Sometimes the stars align and something truly epic happens, as they did at the end of last week when Creative Assembly gave away it’s latest Total War title for 24 hours on launch.
Total War: Troy is something of an epic itself, with the usual incredible breadth and depth of a Total War title married to the era of the original epics. Thanks to a deal cut between Creative Assembly and Epic Games, the game was free for 24 hours, driving huge numbers to the store. And teh final tally was 7.5m copies claimed.
Now, we don’t know how many copies of a Total War title Creative Assembly usually sells on launch, but we’re pretty certain that it achieved its aim here in bringing the franchise to a lot of people who were unfamiliar with it before. Though it’s always hard to believe anyone isn’t familiar after 20 years of making the games, the reality is that there’s always a whole lot more new consumers out there.
“We were optimistic but we couldn’t have predicted this level of excitement,” said Rob Bartholomew, Chief Product Officer. “It’s been incredible to work with Epic on giving this brand new release away for free. Now we get to welcome so many strategy players – new and old – to experience this incredible Saga. We’re very happy.”
In a blog post on announcement of the deal Creative Assembly explained the decision to take the series, which has been a Steam stalwart for as long as Steam has existed, to the Epic Games Store. In which it immediately set out to counter any backlash in a well argued manner:
“While we know that some of you won’t like the Epic Games Store exclusivity, we feel like this is a great opportunity for us in a lot of ways, and we’re hoping that you’ll take some time to hear us out and for us to answer what some of the questions we think you might have.
“First of all: this is an opportunity for TROY specifically, and we have no plans for future games to be Epic exclusives. As developers we truly value our existing fans, but at the same time we want to reach new audiences and have as many people as possible experiencing the thrill of Total War for themselves. As a business that means putting Total War onto new platforms so that it can reach more players. This is part of that and in principal we’d like future Total War titles to be simultaneously available, from launch day, on as many store fronts as possible.
CA notes that Epic approached them with the offer. “It was a difficult decision, and you can be assured that there were a lot of differing opinions in the studio, and a lot of discussions about it – which largely focussed on what it would mean for you, the players.