This thread is another dedicated to encouraging CA to produce an Empire Total War sequel. The fanbase here, and the continuing popularity of franchises like Europa Universalis, suggest that there would be an eager market for such a sequel. The period’s flexibility and global reach offers plenty of opportunities for lucrative expansions once the core game is established.
Specifically, this sequel should aim for 1618-1715 timeframe (30 years war to death of louis xiv), as it has the following advantages for a total war game:
1) Global flux. This is the period of: the height of Europe's religious wars; the fall of the Ming dynasty and birth of the Qing; the height and fall of the Mughal empire; the second siege of Vienna, the klein and gros Turkish wars and rise of the Safavids; the anglo-dutch wars and birth of the East Indies trading companies; the Swedish Vasa empire and baltic wars; the last period of military parity between indigenous amerindians and european settlers in the americas, ending in the Pueblo Revolt, King Phillips War and the Arauco War; the beginning of the ‘second hundred years war’ between france and england; the end of the hapsburg-valois wars and the dutch revolt; the Tokugawa shogunate; the height of pirate and privateers in the Caribbean.
2) World-wide mechanics: this period sees the birth of global trade, which for the first time in history overtakes agriculture (in some countries) in terms of gross value; global weather effects, with the onset of the ‘little ice age’ after the ‘long’ 16th century; significant religious influences and conversions, but also the birth of secular institutions.
3) Tactical diversity: this is the era of europe’s famous ‘military revolution’, the further development of the islamic ‘gunpowder empires,’ and military consolidation in East Asia, which means there is a unique mix of military tactics and technology. On the one hand, you see the birth of light artillery, the clash of Tericos and Dutch shot, the trace italienne, the russian strelytsi regiments, louis xiii’s musketeers and cromwell’s new model army. But on the other hand, feudal forms of combat are still effective: tartar light horse in the crimea and the balklands, with polish hussars and russian cossacks; manchu banner formations defeat ming armies equipped with limited artillery and firearms; jacobite highlanders overwhelmed redcoats as late as the 18th century; the knights hospitaller fight ottomans in Crete. And of course, this period continues the 16th century’s naval revolution, from galleys to galleons to ships of the line; and not just in Europe and the Caribbean - this is the period of the wako lords, the southern Ming and the sultanate of aceh.
4) Political diversity and transition. There are (increasingly less) powerful city states, in Venice/Genoa, the german principalities, and merchant leagues like the Hansa; there are republics in the Netherlands and (arguable) Switzerland; there are blended governments, like the holy roman empire, parliamentary England, or the polish elective monarchy. And then of course you have varying degrees of monarchy, from bureaucratic empires to despotisms.
5) DLC potential. Once you have this engine, you could create a host of mods & sequels for specific campaigns or eras. Go 16th century: rise of ottomans (belgrade, rhodes, vienna, malta), religious wars (hussite rebellion, knights revolt, english reformation, etc), conquests (mughal india, spanish america, polish commonwealth, etc). Or go late, and you can reprise Empire I and Napoleon.
I think after Troy, Three Kingdoms, Rome 2, Medieval 2, CA has maxed out the sword-and-shield genre. Warhammer im sure brought in some new fans, but 3 warhammers in what, 4 years? Throw a bone to your historical fan base.