With free games a’plenty, a thriving market and some regular discounts which border on the hefty side of savings, the Epic Games Store is doing pretty well lately! They’ve made a mark on the industry by giving game studios and publishers the lion’s share of revenue for games sold through their platform, and have gotten some deserved criticism for creating a digital poaching culture that has resulted in timed exclusives along the way.
Epic Games’ next move might be their ballsiest one yet, as the company targets the legion of Total War fans who flock to digital stores the moment a new entry in that series is released for sale. SEGA and Creative Assembly’s next title, A Total War Saga: Troy, will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store for the first year of its life once it launches on August 13…and also free to own for the first 24 hours after launch.
Yes that’s right, anyone who grabs a download of the game on launch day will get to keep it forever. “Not only does this mean that we can bring the tales and legends of Troy to a wide audience through Epic’s massive platform, but it also means new players will get to try Total War for the first time,” said Tim Heaton, chief studios officer at Sega Europe Ltd in a press release.
“Epic approached us and asked if TROY could be an Epic exclusive, as part of a commercial deal,” Creative Assembly added in a blog post.
That’s not to say that we immediately signed on the dotted line, or that money was the only reason that we did this (it’s not!). 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.
However, ultimately we considered two things. First we’re at a time when we’re looking to invest more into the ongoing development of Total War this felt like an opportunity to really move the franchise forward by getting it in front of more people. Secondly, Epic were paying for our players to have our latest release free on day one. For Total War’s 20th birthday, that felt like an opportunity too good to pass up.
It’s a smart move! Total War games may be popular within their genre of massive real-time strategy, but they’re still a niche attraction that could always do with more eyeballs. There’ll no doubt be more Total War games produced in the future (especially with all of that Epic Games cash now bankrolling Creative Assembly’s efforts), but this version is basically going to exist as a massive advert for what the franchise has to offer.
Troy itself exists in a line of Total War games that aren’t part of the chunkier mainline series, as the Saga section of Total War kicked off back in 2018 with the Thrones of Brittania game. Creative Assembly’s focus was on making a more laser-focused experienced within the Total War universe, that could serve as a gateway to its bigger offerings.
Making that short and sweet experience free for a limited time, should see plenty of interest erupt in not only the older Total War games, but upcoming ones as well.
Last Updated: June 5, 2020