May 1, 2013
Total War: Rome 2 Free Day One DLC Revealed
Creative Assembly has announced that, unlike EA or Microsoft, they have in fact been developing a day one DLC for their release of the upcoming strategy game Total War: Rome 2. But you’re encouraged to take a hiatus on your calendar to plan for the DLC’s price point because Creative Assembly is releasing it to fans for free. I’ll allow you to let this one sink it before we continue.
The DLC adds an additional faction, making it the 9th playable army to play in the game’s campaign. The faction goes by the name of the Pontus, named after a mountainous region that borders the Black Sea. The region is home to a population of very reliable and agile chariot riders that remain aggressive and swift against cavalry and foot soldiers. The Pontus are essentially a group of Greek colonies ruled by a Persian dynasty. Fans who’ve been paying close attention to the factions of Rome 2 will note that the Pontus’s addition will bring a bit of balance and variety to the already vast selection of unit types, particularly for fast moving chariots.
I’ve reviewed a number of the factions for my own personal purposes and have concluded that the addition of this faction isn’t simply a tiny chunk of content for players to immerse themselves in. Instead, it’s much more accurate to regard the Pontus as an entirely different way to play the game on a battlefield.
Creative Assembly has assured us many times before that they only have intentions to create games for fans and provide profit for their company. Sometimes that goal seems cross to gamers who choose to be more, shall we say, ‘radical’ in the face of possibly shady business practices.
The truth is that we really have no idea how to develop games, and hence must go off of our own assumptions as to how trustworthy a company is. For example, fans of Mass Effect lost their trust in EA after the complete trumping of the third installation’s butchery of its story narrative. This, and the casual transformation that the series made to be a simpler experience for first time players, has consequently made it less in-depth for veterans. The motive is always clear as to the purpose behind moves like this. EA is a company after all.
The point of a video game publishing company is to make a solid product while simultaneously returning profit from said product. However, sometimes the strategy can lose you some fans.
From day one, DLC has been a hot topic amongst more political gamers that like to pick a fight with developers over getting nicked for more money on content that should already be on the disc. If you’re naïve, then you believe that adding additional content is as simple as copying and pasting the content onto the certified disc. However, if you’re willing to listen to a developer’s plea, then you know that this process gets complicated less than a year before a game’s release.
Epic Games struggled for the first few months after the release of Gears of War 3 over content that was restricted from gamers and later charged them extra money. Fans took to the forums and gaming news sites with anger and resentment as Epic tried to piece the situation back together. According to them, the game did have DLC that was already on disc, while the download was a mere 1.42 Mb worth of space. This meant that the purchase was essentially a download key.
Epic’s then creative director Rod Ferguson justified the transaction by saying that the game was originally planned to release in the spring of 2011. Instead, the game was pushed back much later to the winter of that same year. In his eyes, the DLC was already planned for release sometime in the summer if the game had continued with its original plan, but its delay meant that the DLC needed to be placed on the disc as a means of effectively quick transfer and downloads.
In other words, they flipped the script to say that they were offering a faster accessibility of the content to players who were willing to shell out some extra money. I never truly bought into the idea of that, though.
Unlike Epic Games, Creative Assembly has provided an assurance to PC gamers that their content will not only be day one, but it will also be free. This move is controversial in light of companies like EA and Activision making plans for day one DLC at a set price for some extra money to fans.
In my eyes, the practice is complete nonsense. I’d like to believe that the content released for a game between its release on up until about three months after is a reasonable amount of wait time before releasing any content for extra money. I believe that gamers who have already dished out over $60 for game purchases that for games that rarely clock over 15 to 20 hours of game-play. To call it a nickel and diming scenario just doesn’t do the term justice.
Community Manager Craig Laylock followed up by adding, “We just thought, ‘Hey, we’ve got the time to do it. Let’s chuck it in there, and let’s give it free for everyone.”
Well said, Craig. Thousands of fans (myself included) will definitely purchase Total War: Rome 2 on day one, and thank you for your team’s generous contributions to loyal fans.
Image Credit: Creative Assembly