Chinese giant NetEase has secured the publishing rights of Total War in China, developer Creative Assembly has announced today.
This long-term partnership will encompass the entire franchise’s back catalogue, including the most recent release in the series, Total War: Three Kingdoms, which launched in May 2019 and is set in China around 220–280 AD.
Sega-owned Creative Assembly also unveiled a brand new collectible card game, Total War: Elysium, targeting the Chinese market, where it will release on PC and mobile initially. The release date hasn’t been revealed yet.
“Total War’s strengths have resonated strongly with a new Chinese fanbase following the recent record-breaking release of Total War: Three Kingdoms,” the announcement read.
Tim Heaton, Creative Assembly studio director and EVP of Sega Studios, commented: “For nearly two decades, the Total War franchise has been a leader in the strategy games genre, thanks to its trademark gameplay and a focus on authenticity. We are excited to bring the historical titles of the franchise to the Chinese market where we have already seen a huge appetite for Total War. Our partnership with NetEase is an ideal pairing with our shared mission for bringing quality gameplay experiences to our passionate fans across the globe.”
Gary Dale, president and COO of SEGA Europe, added: “We are very excited for Creative Assembly to partner with a leading company like NetEase. SEGA Europe are looking forward to expanding the business in China, as it is the fastest-growing market in the industry.”
NetEase’s VP Ken Li said: “NetEase is very pleased to work with Creative Assembly, a leading game developer in the strategy games genre, to bring the critically acclaimed Total War series to players in China. We see great potential in this long-term strategic partnership. Since its initial release in 2000, the Total War Series has given players an extraordinary game experience, allowing them to feel the thrill and excitement of various historical wartime battles. This is exactly the type of high-quality content NetEase has been and will continue to offer our users.”
This is the latest move in NetEase’s continuous expansion and growth, with the company having launched operations in Canada just last week. Earlier this year, and after several months of uncertainty, Chinese regulators finally approved the monetisation of NetEase games, after they were notably missing from the first list of approved licenses alongside Tencent’s.
With this partnership, Creative Assembly joins Blizzard Entertainment in the club of the western developers published by NetEase in China, among others.