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Total War: WARHAMMER Dev Blog – Chaos Warriors, Pre-orders and DLC

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  • Sky_sweeperSky_sweeper Senior Member OklahomaRegistered Users Posts: 1,711
    edited November 2015
    1. Whether it's 90% or 50% or whatever, it still avoids the central issue. You are asking for something that cost a lot of money to make, to be given to you for free. If it doesn't get paid for, it doesn't get made, and then everyone has nothing.

    2. The commercials, trailers, blog posts, rally points, forum posts etc never said you could play as Chaos. The specifically said who you could play (Empire, Dwarves, Greenskins, Vampire Counts,) and that's who you can play.

    3. Even simple game these days have budgets in the tens of thousands. For a game such as the current Total War titles, we are talking millions. Being able to copy the code for a game doesn't make it any cheaper than being able to copy a film. Digital distribution in real terms may cost less than manufacturing all of those CD-Roms back in the day. But the cost to make the game, film, whatever itself in the first place is a lot lot more.

    All the Best,

    Welsh Dragon.

    Okay - but if CA wanted to try to rebuild the bridges they have burned with this - what would be the best course of action to you? I say taking the apparent "loss" at first would be best - and would have a higher chance of gaining those fans back and buy the DLC - because they get a taste of it through one lord, and may want the DLC for the other two. Again, it works like the faction packs of the other games, which I don't see why that's now considered impossible...

    Again, they never specifically said we couldn't either. A double-edged argument that really has no basis. In fact they said we could expect to see all the armies in the games at some point, leading us to believe they WOULD be playable at some point. However, clearly, as a pre-order incentive cut-out DLC, it is seen as a bad thing to many fans.

    That's still initial cost. Whereas with a car you have to pay to produce each car on top of the initial design/testing/conceptualization/licenses, etc.
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  • WudgluWudglu Member Da BadlandsRegistered Users Posts: 395
    edited November 2015
  • ThanquolThanquol Senior Member SkavenblightRegistered Users Posts: 2,018
    edited November 2015
    I accepted much of what was said but believed some to be blatent PR deception. I'm not going to go on a rant or tirade. Instead perhaps next time you do a pre-order faction you should ensure its a 3LC faction then release it for everyone else a few months after release and all will be content. If you dicide to do paid DLC before launch thats fine in my book as long as you give us the content you first promised, just don't tell everyone as they will INSTANTLY scream cut content. Ignorance is bliss after all.
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  • KrilralKrilral Member Registered Users Posts: 910
    edited November 2015
    It is good to see CA is taking all its fans seriously. Other companies might have been tempted to close their eyes and ears to all but the ones who uncritically accept every decision.

    This news seems both good and bad to me, but mostly good. The one issue I had with this DLC, was that it seemed to be so heavily integrated into the "main" game, that we practically have to have it in order to get the full experience. Unfortunately this has now been confirmed. If we do not have this DLC, the "big bad boss" of the endgame will now be a "Chaos-lite", unable to field many of the units that would make it an interesting opponent. It is a big upside though, that CA apparently intends to make sure, that informative previews and even reviews are available before the game launches. A lot can still happen in 6 months, but if this promise holds up I look forward to making an informed purchase of TW:W in the near future :)

    Now if you(CA) are truly accepting feedback on this, then allow me to share my thoughts: What ruffles my feathers about this DLC, is not that it is day 1, or that it is a large and important faction. I can totally accept all that, as long as it is separate content that adds something new to an already complete product, and is in no way required to get the full enjoyment out of that product. The problem here is that so many elements of this DLC already seem to be integrated into the main game, that there is no longer a clear distinction between what is DLC and what is the main game. The DLC-faction plays a central role in the main game, but will be lacking units and features for those who do not have the DLC. For example those people will be spending their late-game fighting against, as I said, "Chaos-lite". This means that we need the DLC in order to get the full experience. In other words the complete game is not just TW:W. It is TW:W + the Chaos Warriors DLC. And if we don't pre-order we have to buy that DLC separately. In short I will accept pretty much any DLC, as long as not having the DLC does not impact the main game. In fact this is the first business practice controversy that has ever spurred me to writing. A DLC should simply add to an already complete game, not be required in order to get the complete game.
  • SkavenDanSkavenDan Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 9
    edited November 2015
    I'm sorry but I find that statement to be totally fake.
    Clearly chaos was always in production and going to be a part of the game.
    I mean how could you play Empire and fight chaos without the chaos faction?
    And the room between it being an NPC and a playable faction is marginal.

    I've always been a sturn Totalwar fan till Nap came out and I hoped this would be your redemption but you don't get it.
    I understand how it works and what has happened but making this DLC is a slap in the face because the reality is that employees using money assigned for the original release have used some of that money on the chaos faction it is completely unavoidable.

    And the smallest thing that really gets my back up?
    Why does the game have no system requirements listed?
    It's clearly playable as your youtube videos show ?
    So at least tell us the specs of the PCs used for the youtube promo

    I won't pre order for chaos. I was going to but I'm going to take a stand with the commentators
  • MordrethMordreth Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,130
    edited November 2015
    They did close there eyes and ear though. They cut out the key antagonist of the series ro screw with people. Imagine if this was other games and they cut out the zerg, mordor or germany.

    this was a **** move that fanboys are too blind to see.

    in what other industry is this acceptable?

    dlc should not be content made before the game is done. A season pass wwould have been better and even that is a dodgy practice as u dont know what your gettting
  • BeibarsBeibars Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 209
    edited November 2015
    Thanks for clarifications with pre-order. I see that you are confident with your product. It means TW:Warhammer is going to be both immersive and challenging. Although I am not a rich person, will make a pre-order. Firstly, as an old fan of TW series. Secondly, no doubt that you have invested maximum time and energy to make this game, and put your love to it. Finally, it will be my personal thanks to CA staff.
    Best regards, Maksat
  • wraithzswraithzs Member Registered Users Posts: 65
    edited November 2015
    "So in TW: Warhammer’s case, we had our four main playable races sorted, and we’ve planned for Chaos to have a big role to play later in the trilogy. But we really wanted Chaos Warriors in the main game, even without DLC – to give a big, bad end of game "boss" enemy Race for all players."

    So you were going to expand chaos in later part of the trilogy but wanted to have a piece of it in the main game? If that is so I'm more then incline to preorder just to get a taste of some chaos action.
  • MordrethMordreth Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,130
    edited November 2015
    Oh man, chaos-lite, I love that, that jeeds to become a saying. And your completely right about that as well.
  • SiWISiWI Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 11,143
    edited November 2015
    Mordreth wrote: »
    They did close there eyes and ear though. They "cut" out the key antagonist of the series ro screw with people. Imagine if this was other games and they cut out the zerg, mordor or germany.
    Besides the irony that Blizzard did cut the campaigns of protoss and zwerg into different games (was it really necessary to cut Starcraft 2 into 3 games?), there a tons of games where mordor or germany are in the game but not playable (or multiplayer only). The status in TW: Warhammer without DLC I may add.
    this was a **** move that fanboys are too blind to see.
    "you don agree with me, you are: "set in popular boogie man".
    in what other industry is this acceptable?
    Name a industry, where you don't get more if you pay more or other intensives to buy to conditions good for the seller.
    Also name a industry where buying a product entitle you to "everything that was finish tilt realise must be in".
    dlc should not be content made before the game is done.
    Why not? As long the original description of the game contend isn't "altered", where is the harm? If the DLC brings in the resources to create the contend in the first place?
    A season pass wwould have been better and even that is a dodgy practice as u dont know what your gettting
    So instead of a pretty detail description of what you get if you buy the game because of the DLC, you want a: "you will make you something later" promise?
    Sorry but if "pre order" is suppose to be bad/evil/ect., then words fail to describe season passes.
    Ratling_Guns.gif?t=1554385892
  • GeneralTGeneralT Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 114
    edited November 2015
    Hei i got 1000 plus hours on multi totalwar titels, and to say one tripe to the cinema cost half of one totalwar game but only provided 2/3 hours of entertainment. Honestly to me 200/400 pund would be a fair price. An not to say that every game CA make is more ambitious then the previous. Ca really are trying to get the most out off it and that's a hell lot more that I can say off a few other game titels in the same price range. Really! Warhammer is going to be such and epic big game, I really feel that CA are doing so much for us that many others would not dare. I like to say thanks for that CA
  • MordrethMordreth Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,130
    edited November 2015
    You could play all the races in sc2, and comparing length of campaignsto broodwar they were the same.


    This is like taking tires off a car
  • Commissar_GCommissar_G Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 11,382
    edited November 2015
    Elfgore wrote: »
    Sorry, CA. I love 'ya, but I'm not believing a word of that nor have you changed my mind on what this is.

    They're in the base game, I should not have to pay extra to let me play them.

    I must say though, it is really refreshing to see a game company straight up telling me to wait until reviews come out or not purchase it at all if I dislike it.

    Did you not read it? If it was not being released as a pre-order bonus or DLC we would not be getting it this title. It is not in the base game as they got extra funding for it as an add-on to the base game. So they need to give it to us in a way that will counteract this cost, and they decided to do it as a pre-order bonus rather than actually making you pay for it, which I am grateful.

    Pretty simple.

    And cheers CA for the communication. Sadly pearls are often caste before swine.
    "As a sandbox game everyone, without exception, should be able to play the game exactly as they see fit and that means providing the maximum scope possible." - ~UNiOnJaCk~
  • ktemowoktemowo Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 27
    edited November 2015
    I'd like to take my proverbial 'hat' off to CA. Thank you for taking the time to engage with the community - hopefully you can gather from a number of the other posts here, the info is greatly appreciated. A good touch guys. :)

    My challenge is that whilst I WOULD LIKE TO PREORDER NOW, THIS MINUTE in fact, as a Mac user I'm STILL none the wiser as to whether this game will be playable on Mac, on release day???????? In fact, on Amazon the game box cover simply says 'PC/DVD'. Whether this is anything to go by, I'm not sure (descriptions would usually say 'Mac' also)?

    But certainly I would happily part with my money, if i knew I could play the game straight away (because I've checked out enough interviews, read enough articles and watched enough videos on this game, to feel confident to place a preorder).

    If there's no Mac version on release, then that's it for me! Sadly getting a PC is not an option at the moment!!
  • modestusmodestus Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 183
    edited November 2015
    Did you not read it? If it was not being released as a pre-order bonus or DLC we would not be getting it this title. It is not in the base game as they got extra funding for it as an add-on to the base game. So they need to give it to us in a way that will counteract this cost, and they decided to do it as a pre-order bonus rather than actually making you pay for it, which I am grateful.

    Pretty simple.

    And cheers CA for the communication. Sadly pearls are often caste before swine.


    You seem to know, whats the base game or the main game? Is it the first game or the trilogy?

    It would appear that Chaos would play a part in the trilogy but it was not intended that they play a part in the main game, do CA mean by this the first game? And that they could only add them to the first game if they got more money?
  • Lord_Maximus77Lord_Maximus77 Technical Moderator Leeuwarden, NLRegistered Users, Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights Posts: 3,357
    edited November 2015
    Moderator notice: Feel free to let CA and the communinty know about your opinion. But please refrain from attacking persons and/or groups of people. That includes calling people fanboy, hater, troll or whatever.

    If you want to respond to someone else's post do so with respect for the opinion of the other.

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  • Commissar_GCommissar_G Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 11,382
    edited November 2015
    modestus wrote: »
    You seem to know, whats the base game or the main game? Is it the first game or the trilogy?

    It would appear that Chaos would play a part in the trilogy but it was not intended that they play a part in the main game, do CA mean by this the first game? And that they could only add them to the first game if they got more money?

    The campaign map which was revealed with the humble bundle and the first 4 races announced are clearly game 1. Anything else was outside the budget and a bonus. Ergo we have to pay for it in some form.
    "As a sandbox game everyone, without exception, should be able to play the game exactly as they see fit and that means providing the maximum scope possible." - ~UNiOnJaCk~
  • modestusmodestus Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 183
    edited November 2015
    The campaign map which was revealed with the humble bundle and the first 4 races announced are clearly game 1. Anything else was outside the budget and a bonus. Ergo we have to pay for it in some form.

    I understand that but CA stated in the OP that Chaos would have a big role to play later in the trilogy so I presume they budgeted for this role?
  • BadWoIfBadWoIf Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 131
    edited November 2015
    Fist of all, thank you very much for the information CA, and I do see your points. However, the problem is, that by asking for pre orders at all, you are asking us to by something from you on good faith. Now personally I dont think that is wise at the best of times, however in your case, well you have a history of disapointing blind faith. Now I want to trust you, I really really do, but after Rome 2, which I did pre order, I cant. I took a full day off to play your last game on launch and it was a mess, if you want pre order money, you have to prove that your game will even function, on launch
  • DreadedNorwegianDreadedNorwegian Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,177
    edited November 2015
    Still think it should be in the main game at launch. None of these "reasons" are good enough.
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  • Flyinpenguin117Flyinpenguin117 Member Registered Users Posts: 334
    edited November 2015
    BadWoIf wrote: »
    Fist of all, thank you very much for the information CA, and I do see your points. However, the problem is, that by asking for pre orders at all, you are asking us to by something from you on good faith. Now personally I dont think that is wise at the best of times, however in your case, well you have a history of disapointing blind faith. Now I want to trust you, I really really do, but after Rome 2, which I did pre order, I cant. I took a full day off to play your last game on launch and it was a mess, if you want pre order money, you have to prove that your game will even function, on launch
    They said they'll send out review copies and allow reviews to be published before the game's launch. You don't have to preorder right this minute to get Warriors of Chaos- you can wait on the reviews, then preorder at 11:59PM on April 27.
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  • Commissar_GCommissar_G Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 11,382
    edited November 2015
    Still think it should be in the main game at lauch. None of these "reasons" are any good.

    Google "money".
    "As a sandbox game everyone, without exception, should be able to play the game exactly as they see fit and that means providing the maximum scope possible." - ~UNiOnJaCk~
  • ladymissfitladymissfit Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,799
    edited November 2015
    While the idea of locking an entire faction (that will be present even if reduced in the base game) is terrible and still not something that should be done, It's nice seeing you address it.

    To the crux of the Issue: You do not hide an entire finished faction behind a paywall. That's a big no-no unless that faction was developed after release. ANything else could've worked better, like free skins for a faction (maybe nurgle/tzeentch,Khorne/Slaanesh inspired WoC?) or giving away one to-be released DLC faction announced later? That way no one loses out by waiting a week or two and you can still increase the value for those who decide to dive in head-first.

    Either way, waiting with the release of chaos for later or something else entirely would've probably been a better choice.

    I definetely look forward to the game and I trust you won't make any more mistakes regarding coming releases. As you've said, Warhammer will need DLC for many factions or it won't end up very good. Your direction is a sound one and I applaud it. Just don't do this again, ok?

    All the luck to you.
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  • PatchyPatchy Member Arkansas, USARegistered Users Posts: 66
    edited November 2015
    Thanks Team CA for the insight. There is a lot here to consider and think about in terms of if the fans have suggestions on how mutually beneficial alternatives could be achieved. I will spend some time thinking through it and gauging feedback on my videos.

    That said I operate daily in the business world. I have to stand in front of executives and ask for millions of dollars and explain what their return on investment is in my proposed project. The resource challenges are understandable as for any company the largest expense is generally wages. Definitely see that in all my projects as well. Perhaps amidst all the negative fervor for DLC amongst many gamers is a fundamental miscommunication. Assumptions abound in explanations of why companies use DLC and some assumptions are more mertious than others.

    Day 1 DLC simply comes off as cut content to gamers in today's market. Plain and simple. Your explanations help me understand your reasoning but won't likely sway that notion in the gaming community as a whole. Personally I would be willing to pay up to or over $100 for a TW title that includes lots of awesome content since I get hundreds of hours of entertainment out of them. It seems a fair price to me. However I am an adult with a full time job sufficient to fund such purchases and not all my TW fan peers are fortunate to be in such a position. Further even some with means and money would disagree with my notion above. Long story short I agree with your mentality that you make as many people happy as possible as it is the most likely means of success.

    DLC can help keeps TW games alive far past launch and I love that. DLC that adds new flavor, features, and content in my book is always welcome and I will buy it every time as I see it as a worth while investment in my entertainment. I think more than anything perceptions and messaging are key ways to help avoid this type of blow up going forward. Management of perceptions and expectations can be difficult but I feel it will help level set fans expectations of upcoming titles. Long story short...over communicate your goals and intentions. Swim upstream. Set yourself apart from other publishers and studios in this regard.

    I love your games and hope this feedback provides some value. Wishing CA the greatest success as I want to see TW titles continue forever! Thanks for the frank and canid information provided in the OP.
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  • HeroofRome1HeroofRome1 Member Registered Users Posts: 1,619
    edited November 2015
    The problem with DlC's for Warhammer is that because there is someone whose faction is becoming the DLC, whatever faction is released will cause outrage. For example even WoC were free and Brets were released as pre order DLC Bret fans would go mental.

    Thats the issue, although if we had got this DLC knowledge on the same week as ET Archaon came out maybe there would be less complaining......
    Team Rome, Team Byzantium, Team Dwarfs, Team Empire, Team Bretonnia Team Grim, Team elf slayers, Team Belegar.
  • BadWoIfBadWoIf Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 131
    edited November 2015
    I dont honestly care what faction it is, my issue is that they have compleatly disregaded the fact that they have shown in the past that almost none of their products are remotly functioning on launch, and they still have the nerves to ask us to preorder, even if it were my favorite faction I wouldent touch this with a ten foot pole until reviews have come up
  • FredrinFredrin Senior Member LondonRegistered Users Posts: 3,014
    edited November 2015
    Bart CA wrote: »

    Our Creative Director, Mike, is going to talk a bit about how resources fit together to create our vision for TW: Warhammer and Brand Director, Rob, will talk about the practicalities of pre-orders, what you can expect to see next and what we’re planning for reviews.
    ...

    A big thank you to Mike and Rob for taking the time to write these blogs and also to whichever community team members were involved in relaying our concerns and supporting this communication.

    To Mike Simpson:

    Hi Mike,

    As a huge fan of the series since Shogun I, it is a great relief to hear that you of all people chose not to listen to those who have been arguing "that there is no possible response we can actually make that would make it better". You have rightly identified that - as strategy lovers - fans of Total War are more rational than most and therefore more receptive to a reasoned response than we have so far been given credit for. For many, CA's continued silence in the face of widespread criticism had the appearance of being uncaring and somewhat condescending, so thank you for proving that you do not underestimate the intelligence of the people who buy your games. I wish you had followed your gut on this sooner, as watching the damage the preorder announcement has inflicted on the TW brand has been painful.

    In some respects, it is surprising that it has taken this long to formulate a response as the community has shown that it can be perfectly reasonable when treated respectfully. Was there uproar when we were told the game would be cut up into three standalone games? No. Did everyone lose their **** when it came out that there would only be 4 playable factions? Hardly. This should have been proof enough that as a fanbase, our primary concern is quality game design delivered in a working state and that we are willing to pay or wait for it, if necessary.

    With the announcement of Chaos as a preorder bonus, you radically misjudged the amount of lingering distrust a huge segment of players harbour for your company after Rome II, as well as a baseline amount of irritation at being repeatedly taken advantage of by an increasingly unscrupulous industry. It may seem unfair after you personally apologized and your studio made huge efforts to restore the game to a working state... but I find it baffling that you can be so unaware of the long-term reputational damage that game caused your brand that - despite the perfectly valid reasons you give in your blog - anyone could think this preorder incentive was a good idea. Without any insight about how you reached that decision, of course these people are going to assume the worst and imagine they are being tricked into another disaster. Gamers are a cynical bunch these days and games such as Rome II have made us that way.

    This is ultimately a problem of communication. Your fanbase jumped to some highly unflattering conclusions because there was not enough being said to make them assume otherwise. Meanwhile, knowing full well the rationale behind preorders but not knowing the extent of ill-feeling towards your business practices, your studio came to the decision that this would be an excellent way of securing finance for future content and technology.

    Since Sept 2013, I have been trying to get the message through that this was the case with initiatives such as community surveys, which if you'd taken the time to look at, indicate clearly that this kind of response was entirely predictable. Just look at these results, which over 2,500 fans provided in the latest Attila survey:

    http://imgur.com/GDk3hrB

    In particular, this question: "How satisfied are you that factions are made available as DLC content instead of being included in the game at release?" - Answer: 9% satisfied... 29% unsatisfied... 47% Highly Unsatisfied. The writing was on the wall... for those who cared to look.

    It has been horrifying to see the number of people I have heard in recent days compare CA with EA, often saying you guys are even worse in their eyes. If you want to remedy the situation, you need to achieve a relationship with your community that is more meaningful than shoveling hype videos and merchandise in their direction. Give people an insight into the challenges you face in developing the game and you will be met with far more sympathy than you might currently believe. Also, try and show that you are remotely interested in what your fanbase thinks and show some evidence that this knowledge even slightly informs the design of your games. Those things will go a long way.

    By having 4 playable races and spreading the game over 3 premium-priced installments you have set the bar extremely high for yourselves. People will now be expecting an absolutely huge amount of high quality content from every faction delivered in great working condition on April 28th. They will be far more receptive to this (and forgiving of its shortcomings) if you work harder to cultivate better communication in both directions between fanbase and developer. I have faith that you will deliver but also wish you luck in achieving this.

    Finally, (as a cheeky aside) I fully support the utilitarian goal of aiming for "maximum happiness to the most players" and submit to you that the best way of pulling this off would be to make a more customizable experience that players can tailor through the intelligent inclusion of game options :)

    Thanks for helping make CA the mighty studio it is today and long live Total War!

    Fredrin
  • yoyo369874yoyo369874 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 4
    edited November 2015
    Disclaimer: the only Total War game I've played is Rome 2 and unlike most people, I actually enjoyed it, although I didn't deal with all the bugs and other issues most did at launch. That being said, CA you can say whatever you want but the simple truth is this is corporate greed.

    First off: this game is going to be a combination of total war and warhammer - two incredibly popular series. Do you really think you're going to have problems with sales?

    2nd: You already developed the faction so there's no extra costs necessary to put them in the game. You stripped them out and made them pre-order DLC for two big reasons: to force people to pre-order that otherwise might wait and not buy the game if launch is a disaster, or force people to buy the DLC (probably $10) that didn't pre-order

    3rd: Like many have said, this is a crucial faction in the warhammer universe. If you stripped out one of the lesser factions to make as DLC I don't think many people would care. But you NEVER strip out a main part of a game to sell as DLC. That's like forcing Halo players to pre-order or buy DLC to play as Master Chief.

    4th: You are strictly doing it for business reasons and because it's a common practice in the industry now. 10 years ago none of this happened and no developers would have dared to do it. But because it's common now, developers such as yourself can do it and come up with illogical excuses as to why you are, and nothing will change.

    5th: You are not trying to make all of your gamers happy. If you were, you would go the Witcher 3 route in providing a full game at the normal price, then adding FREE DLC to the game in stages, then later adding value-added DLC for moderate prices like Witcher 3 did. Witcher 3 didn't have any pre-order DLC and the game still made millions. The developer of the game's reputation is so good now that people will happily pay $10-$20 for true DLC because the base game was such a great value and the DLC didn't include anything stripped out.

    I understand that this game was expensive to make, but like I said first it's a combination of two incredible series and it's going to be profitable just based upon that. Instead of building some positive cred with your fans by giving them a great value at launch, you decided to skim them knowing that it's common practice in the industry and you'll be able to get away with it. That being said, I know nothing will change and I expect future Total War games to have the same thing happen. I appreciate the fact you had a response to this issue but unfortunately regardless of what you said nothing changes the fact as to why this is happening.

    And also, I doubt you care CA, but because of this I will not be buying the game. I was very interested before I heard all of this, but I cannot support a company that not only has these practices but then defends them. I will happily watch Angry Joe's review of it but I will spend one penny on the game.
  • DreadedNorwegianDreadedNorwegian Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,177
    edited November 2015
    Also, if you are setting up chaos as the big, scary end game threat WHY oh WHY make them playable now!?!?
    How are you going to keep us scared if they are playable at launch, and necause of that balanced according to the other races?
    Enig og tro til Dovre faller!
  • BadWoIfBadWoIf Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 131
    edited November 2015
    Fredrin wrote: »
    A big thank you to Mike and Rob for taking the time to write these blogs and also to whichever community team members were involved in relaying our concerns and supporting this communication.

    To Mike Simpson:

    Hi Mike,

    As a huge fan of the series since Shogun I, it is a great relief to hear that you of all people chose not to listen to those who have been arguing "that there is no possible response we can actually make that would make it better". You have rightly identified that - as strategy lovers - fans of Total War are more rational than most and therefore more receptive to a reasoned response than we have so far been given credit for. For many, CA's continued silence in the face of widespread criticism had the appearance of being uncaring and somewhat condescending, so thank you for proving that you do not underestimate the intelligence of the people who buy your games. I wish you had followed your gut on this sooner, as watching the damage the preorder announcement has inflicted on the TW brand has been painful to watch.

    In some respects, it is surprising that it has taken this long to formulate a response as the community has shown that it can be perfectly reasonable when treated respectfully. Was there uproar when we were told the game would be cut up into three standalone games? No. Did everyone lose their **** when it came out that there would only be 4 playable factions? Hardly. This should have been proof enough that as a fanbase, our primary concern is quality game design delivered in a working state and that we are willing to pay or wait for it, if necessary.

    With the announcement of Chaos as a preorder bonus, you radically misjudged the amount of lingering distrust a huge segment of players harbours for your company after Rome II, as well as a baseline amount of irritation at being repeatedly taken advantage of by an increasingly unscrupulous industry. It may seem unfair after you personally apologized and your studio made huge efforts to restore the game to a working state, but I find it baffling that you can be so unaware of the long-term reputational damage that game caused your brand that - despite the perfectly valid reasons you give in your blog - anyone could think this preorder initiative was a good idea. Without any insight about how you reached that decision, of course these people are going to assume the worst and imagine they are being tricked into another disaster. Gamers are a cynical bunch these days and games such as Rome II have made us that way.

    This is ultimately a problem of communication. Your fanbase jumped to some highly unflattering conclusions because there was not enough being said to make them assume otherwise. Meanwhile, knowing full well the rationale behind preorders but not knowing the extent of ill-feeling towards your business practices, your studio came to the decision that this would be an excellent way of securing finance for future content and technology.

    Since Sept 2013, I have been trying to get the message through that this was the case with initiatives such as community surveys, which if you'd taken the time to look at, indicate clearly that this kind of response was entirely predictable. Just look at these results, which over 2,500 fans provided in the latest Attila survey:

    http://imgur.com/GDk3hrB

    In particular: "How satisfied are you that factions are made available as available as DLC content as opposed to being included in the game at release" - 9% satisfied... 29% unsatisfied... 47% Highly Unsatisfied. The writing was on the wall... for those who cared to look.

    It has been horrifying to see the number of people I have heard in recent days compare CA with EA, often saying you guys are even worse in their eyes. If you want to remedy the situation, you need to achieve a relationship with your community that is more meaningful than shoveling hype videos and merchandise in their direction. Give people an insight into the challenges you face in developing the game and you will be met with far more sympathy than you might currently believe. Also, try and show that you are remotely interested in what your fanbase thinks and show some evidence that this knowledge even slightly informs the design of your games. Those things will go a long way.

    By having 4 playable races and spreading the game over 3 premium-priced installments you have set the bar extremely high for yourselves. People will now be expecting an absolutely huge amount of high quality content from every faction delivered in great working condition on April 28th. They will be far more receptive to this (and forgiving of its shortcomings) if you work harder to cultivate better communication in both directions between fanbase and developer. I have faith that you will deliver but also wish you luck in achieving this.

    Finally, (as a cheeky aside) I fully support the utilitarian goal of aiming for "maximum happiness to the most players" and submit to you that the best way of pulling this off would be to make a more customizable experience that players can tailor through the intelligent inclusion of game options :)

    Thanks for helping make CA the mighty studio it is today and long live Total War!

    Fredrin

    this is the post CA needs to see, it is absolutly true, people (myself included) just dosent trust CA after the disaster that was the launch of Rome 2, and for good reason, why should we put our money down on trust, especially in someone who has shown time and again that their games are unobtimised at best on launch.
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