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Official Comment on Pre-Order exclusives and DLCs

Jack_Lusted_CAJack_Lusted_CA Creative AssemblyBrighton, UKRegistered Users, CA Staff Mods, CA Staff Posts: 1,256
edited August 2015 in Total War: Shogun 2
With the pre-order for Fall of the Samurai just announced and the Blood Pack released just before Christmas, there’s been plenty of debate in the community recently as to the whys and wherefores of pre-order incentives and DLC.

For some nuts and bolts answers, I put the more commonly asked questions to Rob Bartholomew, Total War Brand Director:

Why are there pre-order incentives?

Having a customer express an interest in a game before it is released is commercially important to publishers and retailers. It basically helps us budget and plan more accurately for the release of a game.

Placing a pre-order with your favoured retailer is a confirmation of that interest and it’s only fair to offer up a bonus thank-you to those gamers who put their money down early or with specific retailers.

Why, for FotS, can I only get one of the extra factions unless I buy the game three times?

There has to be some exclusivity involved for a pre-order incentive to work for us, the retailer and the customer. As you may have seen in the past, over time it is possible that exclusive pre-order content becomes widely available as DLC.

Isn’t this just a blatant money-grabbing move to make more profits? Don’t you make enough already?

Well, we are a business, and as you may have seen, many developers are finding it really tough to survive right now. A lot of the money we make goes into the production of our next Total War title. As we’ve shown over many years, we invest our money and passion into developing Total War games, and we try our best to get the balance right between commercial pressures and what we and our fans love. We have over 100 skilled and passionate staff here at CA working on Total War at any one time and that’s surprisingly expensive. Pre-order incentives are just part of our marketing costs rather than being directly profitable in themselves.


Why did you cut out 3 clans from the playable clan list just to make them pre-order only?

We do not cut game content for pre-order incentives. If we didn’t do pre-order incentives, these clans would not have been made. The fact that we can attach a direct promotional benefit to pre-order incentives means that we can justify spending studio time and budget on creating them.

The six main playable clans in FotS are all the major players in the Boshin war: Choshu, Satsuma, Tosa, Aizu, Nagaoka and Jozai.

Why is FotS £25 and not a £10 DLC?

As you can guess, pricing is complex and affected by many different factors, but the main one we care about here is that FotS is a significant Total War title, with a huge number of new features, and is much bigger in terms of new content than RoTS. In fact, Fall of the Samurai took more than seven times the effort to make than Rise of the Samurai. FotS is almost equivalent, in terms of size, content and play-time, to Shogun 2 – in itself a full-priced release.

Why do you make DLCs?


Essentially, we make DLC for the same reason we make full titles. We believe we make the best strategy games in the world and by constantly innovating and adding more interesting and fun content, we can continue to do that.

If you love a game, the chances are good that you might like to continue playing it with new areas, game modes, tweaks, characters, content and anything else that expands out the main game experience. The rise of digital distribution means that developers can offer up all sorts and scales of DLC so gamers can pick and choose what they fancy, and it’s turned out to be hugely popular.


Isn’t it just cut content?

No. DLC content is worked on in its own time and under its own budget. We couldn’t possibly make it otherwise. There has to be an end-point at which you finish and release a main game. DLC is a way for us to add extra content that we couldn’t fit into the original game’s time and budget.

It’s obviously up to the individual who pays for it as to whether they believe the content is worth it to them, and of course we’re really keen to make sure it is. But at no point is it valid to say that any content we charge for has been somehow held back from the main game. We simply couldn’t balance the books that way because a game would be more costly and take longer to make.

Anyone who’s worked in a job which has a pre-determined schedule for a set amount of work will be pretty familiar with the situation. You wouldn’t miss your deadline because you’re doing more work and hand it in a year later; you’d be shown the door pretty quickly.

Even for something as seemingly straightforward as the recent Blood Pack, it takes time and money to produce, test and integrate into the game. Total War is a large and complex game, and even the smallest DLC takes a dedicated team to produce. The Blood Pack required new animations, particle effects, sprites, and dedicated code to trigger all these actions and effects. It was by no means a small endeavour. And for various reasons the content wasn’t within the scope and budget of the original game; it would affect the age rating of the main game for example, which would have meant denying Shogun 2 to huge number of players under the age of 18. Building it after launch and releasing it as DLC gives us the opportunity to enhance the game after release, while keeping the core game available to a large number of fans.

Don’t the number of DLCs put off customers and hurt your sales?

We’ve yet to see it have anything like a negative effect on sales… quite the opposite.
It’s important to add that none of the DLCs are required to enjoy the main game, we believe they should always enhance the experience rather than be some sort of ‘I-win’ button, or offer a feature that can’t practically be done without (though personally I don’t actually like starting a new game of S2 without the Hattori, something about that start position…).

Are we going to keep getting more DLC?

We’d love to do more, for all titles, and the team has more ideas than SEGA could ever possibly let us put into production. Yes we’re a business, but all our games are very much a labour of love and the chance to revisit them and add new stuff is still exciting and inspiring (even after all that time spent making them in the first place).
In these economically challenging times, and with the continuing rising cost of game development, The Creative Assembly is in the great position of being able to continue making and expanding on award-winning games.
If you enjoy what we do, then thank you very much for allowing us to entertain you.
Game Director - Thrones of Britannia

Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed here are those of the poster and do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of Creative Assembly or SEGA.
Post edited by Jack_Lusted_CA on
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Comments

  • SkollopSkollop Senior Member Behind you :ORegistered Users Posts: 3,250
    edited January 2012
    Ah this is why I love CA. When we ask something from the community we actually get a response. Thanks a lot Mark and Rob.
    Previously known as DenmarkRules
  • HeirofAlexanderHeirofAlexander Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,088
    edited January 2012
    Very nice of you to answer the questions people ask.

    And btw ofcourse you make the best games in the world :D
  • lordmaximus77lordmaximus77 Technical Moderator Leeuwarden, NLRegistered Users, Moderators, Tech Moderators, Knights Posts: 3,322
    edited January 2012
    Great post Jack!

    It's a detailed and honest explanation of how things work.

    And I agree: You guys do make the best strategy games in the world! :)
    Any fool can make things bigger and more complex. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction. — Albert Einstein

    viri non urinat in ventum — Anonymous Roman

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  • Emperor BassoEmperor Basso Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 243
    edited January 2012
    I call this one of the most professional things in the world. People get complains/questions and you just solve/answer them. Perfect! Many companies could learn from this.
  • lord_allord_al Member Registered Users Posts: 64
    edited January 2012
    I would like him to answer this question.

    Why pay full price and preorder a Total war game that has multiple bugs some game breaking when you can buy it for half price or less 9 months later and still have the same problems?

    Because I did this with Shogun 2 and I honestly cant answer.
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  • SkollopSkollop Senior Member Behind you :ORegistered Users Posts: 3,250
    edited January 2012
    What game breaking bugs? I have very very few bugs and certainly none that is game-breaking.
    Previously known as DenmarkRules
  • QuaylemanQuayleman Member Registered Users Posts: 56
    edited January 2012
    Thanks first for the responsiveness to customer concerns. Thanks even more for the silly number of hours I've spent playing every TW release since the original Shogun. You guys rock!
  • DusanDusan Member Registered Users Posts: 68
    edited January 2012
    CA have a point that is how things work in real world.
    But Jack can you answer me two things, first if you have over 100 people out there, do you have among them some good historian because through these games you tend to represent things ,people, events and so on historical falls and wrong for those who don t know history it is ok but for those who beside are yours fans they are also history fans it doesn t give full impression of the game because you play one way but you know it happened other way. Through your games people can learn, but it is bad if they learn wrong, so i wonder do you don t give **** about minor things are correct or not or you just don t know they are wrong.

    Second question is about Game release date. Why did you bring Shogun in april when it wasn t finish completely and after that got many bad comments from fans, and took you one or two months to get it wright. Did you done that because market,obligation to with Sega or something ten? Whatever is reason do you tend to do for some other games in the future take for example FOTS, pls FASTINA LENTE, because you are great company and you are working great job for those who love history but in this way what you did with Shogun 2 just gave wrong impression about yourselvs.

    Best wishes from Serbia, i hope when you next time do MEDIEVAL game bring SERBIA also, we back then were the EMPIRE:).
  • Cruse34Cruse34 Member Registered Users Posts: 62
    edited January 2012
    I hate that I can't have all the content, it makes me furious. But you guys should real class with this thread and i thank you for that
  • KotovskyKotovsky Member Registered Users Posts: 118
    edited January 2012
    lord_al wrote: »
    I would like him to answer this question.

    Why pay full price and preorder a Total war game that has multiple bugs some game breaking when you can buy it for half price or less 9 months later and still have the same problems?

    It's obvious: to start playing at Day 1.
    But still you can wait for his answer )
  • daelin4daelin4 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 15,453
    edited January 2012
    Dusan wrote: »

    Second question is about Game release date. Why did you bring Shogun in april when it wasn t finish completely and after that got many bad comments from fans, and took you one or two months to get it wright.

    Production deadline. If you go to your boss and say you need more money because you want more time to finish all the polish, you get fired.

    So instead you finish it as is, and spend post-release time to fix whatever you might have missed.

    Believe it or not, the current system works. You either get people complaining that the game they're enjoying has kinks, or you get a lot of people complaining about when the game's going to come out. DNF's an extreme example.

    The people who invest the money into these things prefer the developers stick to projected deadlines, and ditch anything deemed unnecessary prior to release. They're not going to tell them "Oh its OK take ten years and X millions of cash to make it all polished and perfect." Because it doesn't bring back any money.

    And let's face it, the game is considered by many to be incomplete, yet they still bought the game. That simply means unrealistic expectations were not met, and CA now has time to focus on dealing with bugs rather than a project deadline.

    Corrected action is the most sincere form of apology.
  • HyzoranHyzoran Member Registered Users Posts: 43
    edited January 2012
    What game breaking bugs? I have very very few bugs and certainly none that is game-breaking.

    Well Empire had a gamebreaking siege bug that never got fixed, where a breach in the wall caused lagg that exponentially increased, which can only be prevented sometimes.

    And right now Shogun 2 has a semi-gamebreaking bug right now, where certain castle levels have missing walls, and the fortress flag is somewhere outside the fortress itself so that ai ends up taking the castle just by sitting there.

    Also a few other annoying ones.
  • SkollopSkollop Senior Member Behind you :ORegistered Users Posts: 3,250
    edited January 2012
    We're talking Shogun 2 here, not Empire.

    The wall bug which you're mentionen has been reported to CA which has actually confirmed it will be fixed. I have never noticed it myself though, just as I've never seen nor heard about the bug you're talking about with the flag outside the walls.
    Also, I would love to hear the other annoying ones :)

    In my opinion Shogun 2 has been one of the most stabile and polished games in TW history. I never have crashes, can run with quite good graphics even though my computer is several years old. Admit it, the Warscape engine is awesome, and for every game that comes out CA manages to optimize and polish it to almost perfection. I just say, very good job CA. I've never had a game that worked so smooth as Shogun 2.
    Previously known as DenmarkRules
  • KlunzKlunz Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,436
    edited January 2012
    Appreciate the response from CA, cheers.
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  • HyzoranHyzoran Member Registered Users Posts: 43
    edited January 2012
    We're talking Shogun 2 here, not Empire.

    The wall bug which you're mentionen has been reported to CA which has actually confirmed it will be fixed. I have never noticed it myself though, just as I've never seen nor heard about the bug you're talking about with the flag outside the walls.
    Also, I would love to hear the other annoying ones :)

    In my opinion Shogun 2 has been one of the most stabile and polished games in TW history. I never have crashes, can run with quite good graphics even though my computer is several years old. Admit it, the Warscape engine is awesome, and for every game that comes out CA manages to optimize and polish it to almost perfection. I just say, very good job CA. I've never had a game that worked so smooth as Shogun 2.

    Never said that Shogun 2 was unplayably buggy, I agree, it is the most stable and bug free one yet, however it still has its problems.

    Sometimes I do have trouble with units listening to my orders, and ranged units have to be in perfect formation before firing, etc.


    I wish that when you tell double click when using ranged attacks, it will tell the units to not bother with formation and to start firing immediately.

    Also, it seems that the player is the only one affected by RD, you never see the AI get RD against them, also its ridiculous for people at war with the shogunate already to ally with them just to declare war on you :\

    Also the AI has a few 'derps' sometimes too.

    but agreed that CA and TW is awesome and I hope they continue their great work :D
  • misterbagginsmisterbaggins Member Registered Users Posts: 52
    edited January 2012
    I would like to know if there will be a Limited Edition of FOTS for the United States? The reason I ask is that I like to have a hard copy or DVD of the game. I really don't like digital download. I like having the cd/dvd of all the games that I purchase.
  • lord_allord_al Member Registered Users Posts: 64
    edited January 2012
    I was referring to the Multiplayer Campaign mostly; the wall bug is more of an annoyance. Yes I remember playing Day 1 getting through half a campaign about 5-6 hours worth only to get a desync. Funny thing is I can still do that 9 months later :) Of course the really funny thing is I convinced my friend to buy it based on the co-op feature.......

    Seriously if you can answer I will be amazed!

    Go Total War! Go CA! mmmmmmmmmmmm
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  • Face-sploderFace-sploder Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 536
    edited January 2012
    I loev it, great initiative. Personally, I'm going to wait it out like I did with Shogun 2 until we get more details on the clan bonuses rather then just descriptions of what they do. Something like knowing exactly what units it affects and such would really be great, and I also want to know what kind of effect muskets and ninja's will have on the game. Knowing just how large the trade bonus is would be nice as well.

    If no more details are released, I'll probably go with the limited edition since I loved guns in shogun 2 and I couldn't live without my Otomo mod.


    EDIT: I also forgot to ask, will the limited edition be available outside the UK? I live in Canada so I'm wondering if I could get it there.
  • CaesarIICaesarII Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 171
    edited January 2012
    This is all pretty obvious info. If the people asking these questions actually used their nogen and applied some common sense they could probably work out these answers for themselves. A lot of people don't stop to think that game developers are a business first and without a profit there would be no future titles. In stead they go around moaning like all these developers owe them something. It's this ignorant selfish thinking that leads to pirating.
    Anyway it's nice to see a developer trying to be transparent and always good to see official words in the forum.
  • NormandymasterNormandymaster Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 155
    edited February 2012
    Tws2 was far from perfect at release but it was playable and even enjoyable. The real pb with this game is that even if the ai was better the new features were nice the factions were too alike and I got bored fast. I so hope for Rome2!
  • BarnaleonBarnaleon Banned Banned Users Posts: 34
    edited February 2012
    I think the Battle of Kawagoe from Shogun 2 preorder should be released as DLC on Steam. ;)
  • kingakinga Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1
    edited February 2012
    I've got just one small question about preorder .

    Bonus faction from preorders will be single player only or will they provide some additional units (or other bonuses) in multiplayer?
  • Le NainLe Nain Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 180
    edited February 2012
    Appreciated to have answers to some questions, thanks CA ! ;)

    I would still like to know if I can get the Saga Faction (Correct me if I'm wrong) from the limited edition in Canada ?? :S
  • misterbagginsmisterbaggins Member Registered Users Posts: 52
    edited February 2012
    Will there be a Limited Edition of FOTS for people living inthe United States?. I would like to have a hard copy instead of the digital download.
  • Face-sploderFace-sploder Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 536
    edited February 2012
    In this youtube video at 4:05 you can hear Dominique Starr, the campaign designer say;

    "Like you might have one that is more open to modernization or trade in which case they'll have access to cheaper modern units, um, more money from trade with western powers or you may have someone just the opposite."

    I may be wrong, but I think that may just be the clan traits (or part of the clan traits) for the Saga clan. Anyone agree or think differently?
  • mmurray821mmurray821 Moderator Moderators Posts: 5,219
    edited February 2012
    Will there be a Limited Edition of FOTS for people living inthe United States?. I would like to have a hard copy instead of the digital download.

    There was with Napoleon, so I am guessing that there will be one for FOTS.
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  • mustachewarfaremustachewarfare Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,092
    edited February 2012
    Hyzoran wrote: »
    Well Empire had a gamebreaking siege bug that never got fixed, where a breach in the wall caused lagg that exponentially increased, which can only be prevented sometimes.

    And right now Shogun 2 has a semi-gamebreaking bug right now, where certain castle levels have missing walls, and the fortress flag is somewhere outside the fortress itself so that ai ends up taking the castle just by sitting there.

    Also a few other annoying ones.

    happened to me once the tower flag was outside of the castle and the enemy AI just captured it and my units took out quite a loss before I ordered them to burn my own freakin tower. =.=;;
  • dutch81dutch81 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 7
    edited February 2012
    Where can I pre-order a physical copy in the US ... I'd like to get have the Saga faction but have been unable to find it for a fair price even on Amazon any input would be appreciated.
  • TatsunoshiTatsunoshi Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 158
    edited March 2012
    Looks like the USA WILL be getting the limited edition. Amazon has a new listing with box art that has appropriate region markings for the US and labeled as 'Limited Edition'. The title listing doesn't say Limited Edition, but this was also the case for TWS2-they didn't differentiate between limited/regular edition at first since all the copies initially released in the first wave in the US were the Limited Edition. Same at Gamestop-their preorders didn't have Limited Edition in the listing, but when the games arrived they were.
  • dutch81dutch81 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 7
    edited March 2012
    Thank you! That first offer on Amazon was getting me upset I appreciate the link!
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