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Thread: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

  1. #1181
    Huberto's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    These are business/corporate decisions, not to excuse them. The next 3K game sounds as though it will be exclusively based on RoTK characters' stories and presumably is what the Asian market would prefer. CA runs a lot of projects and is keenly focused on cost control and putting out annual games according to Darren (Republic of Play). We just learned they will back out of specific content promises when they want. The product quality is deteriorating overall in TW - I think it's obvious. I suspect they shut down 3K Records/Romance to pull staff onto WH3, which may be in some kind of trouble? That gameplay reveal was awful by the way.

    Or perhaps for the next historical game might be in trouble which would be weird unless they are in full production with that already...it's difficult to say precisely why they canned 3K but the implication is that something had to give. It seems like some very abrupt decision making.

  2. #1182

    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    I doubt this has to do with resources for other products. The 3K new content team is rather small, for a company as large as CA. Moving them around wouldn't do much, and throwing people onto a project at the last minute only causes chaos. If WH3 was in trouble, they would've delayed it since there's not even a concrete launch date yet.

    Much more likely is that the cost of developing past this point couldn't be justified. Given the timing, I'm fairly certain the issues mostly stem from Fates Divided not selling very well, though I'm also certain that this has been brewing longer than that. 3K's daily player numbers rest on the top of the rest of the historical games by only a small amount, which means that potential exposure to DLC news isn't that high.

    There's also no way they didn't know that this wouldn't go over well. If they're pulling the plug before the northern expansion, it's because the forecast is that the backlash is worth enduring.

    Again, 2 years of updates is about the same as what most historical titles get, so I'm even willing to guess that this timeframe was originally planned to be EoL, just not this abruptly.
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  3. #1183
    Abdülmecid I's Avatar ¡Ay Carmela!
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    I think it was planned before Fates Divided. Last nail on the coffin must have been the lukewarm reception of the Nanman pack. There was a lot of hope that the first faction pack would reinvigorate the game, but once it failed, CA probably decided that developing the Northern Tribes wasn't worth the effort. They probably decided to abandon the game, while Fates Divided was still in development.

    Anyway, that kind of news is never taken very well by the customers, but it was a pretty sloppy announcement. They even change the video's title, because the original implied the complete opposite, that Three Kingdoms still had a bright future ahead. The narrative was also very ambiguous and Grace wasted a lot of time explaining the basic points. By the way, the announcement also coincided with the release of the Nanman soundtrack, which costs 10 euros, but is free (for a while) through the Total War access. Even there, CA didn't choose its vocabulary very wisely:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    I suspect they ditched Three Kingdoms, because it lacked potential for DLCs. The new iteration will probably rely more on fantasy and RPG elements, like Warhammer. CA only mentioned the Romance and not the Records and confirmed that characters will be the main focus. A more heavily inspired from Dynasty Warriors version has probably more opportunities for long-term sales in East Asia and elsewhere. I guess we should expect more extravagantly dressed legendary lords with supernatural abilities and Warhammer-style mechanics and resources. Mythical creatures would probably be too much, but there might be some "feral monsters", like the tigers from Nanman.

  4. #1184
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Quote Originally Posted by zoner16 View Post
    I doubt this has to do with resources for other products. The 3K new content team is rather small, for a company as large as CA. Moving them around wouldn't do much, and throwing people onto a project at the last minute only causes chaos. If WH3 was in trouble, they would've delayed it since there's not even a concrete launch date yet.

    Much more likely is that the cost of developing past this point couldn't be justified. Given the timing, I'm fairly certain the issues mostly stem from Fates Divided not selling very well, though I'm also certain that this has been brewing longer than that. 3K's daily player numbers rest on the top of the rest of the historical games by only a small amount, which means that potential exposure to DLC news isn't that high.

    There's also no way they didn't know that this wouldn't go over well. If they're pulling the plug before the northern expansion, it's because the forecast is that the backlash is worth enduring.

    Again, 2 years of updates is about the same as what most historical titles get, so I'm even willing to guess that this timeframe was originally planned to be EoL, just not this abruptly.
    I doubt they planned the EoL of 3K to be after around 2 years. CA has supported its bigger titles/cashcows for far longer as can be seen with both Rome 2 and Warhammer 2, the latter obviously helped by being the middle installment of a trilogy but if it didn't remain as popular as it is it'd have probably gotten less content (and 3K might have gotten more). Three Kingdoms had everything to be a new cashcow, the period it covers is immensely popular in East Asia and it had the best launch of any TW game. CA just failed to capitalise on it. Some questionable DLC choices and Warhammer 2's continued popularity and thus attention meant its player levels dropped hard and the later DLC failed to kick it back up again. Rather than gamble on the Northern expansion or a potential Korea DLC to bring the player numbers up to more satisfactory levels CA took the financially less risky option. It's a very surprising choice to me though as they were quite clearly trying to catch the Chinese/Asian fans and trying to pull them into the rest of the franchise as well, with all the blogs including a Chinese translation for example, so sinking your Asian flagship isn't exactly beneficial there I would think. And from what I've seen Asian fan backlash can be very harsh.

  5. #1185

    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Quote Originally Posted by lolIsuck View Post
    I doubt they planned the EoL of 3K to be after around 2 years. CA has supported its bigger titles/cashcows for far longer as can be seen with both Rome 2 and Warhammer 2, the latter obviously helped by being the middle installment of a trilogy but if it didn't remain as popular as it is it'd have probably gotten less content (and 3K might have gotten more). Three Kingdoms had everything to be a new cashcow, the period it covers is immensely popular in East Asia and it had the best launch of any TW game. CA just failed to capitalise on it. Some questionable DLC choices and Warhammer 2's continued popularity and thus attention meant its player levels dropped hard and the later DLC failed to kick it back up again. Rather than gamble on the Northern expansion or a potential Korea DLC to bring the player numbers up to more satisfactory levels CA took the financially less risky option. It's a very surprising choice to me though as they were quite clearly trying to catch the Chinese/Asian fans and trying to pull them into the rest of the franchise as well, with all the blogs including a Chinese translation for example, so sinking your Asian flagship isn't exactly beneficial there I would think. And from what I've seen Asian fan backlash can be very harsh.
    Its worth remembering that Rome 2 was essentially put into EoL at the end of 2014 to make way for Attila, and then resurrected at the end of 2017 when Attila didn't take off and CA Sofia came on board, giving CA an extra studio who needed experience before going off on their own. It's really just Warhammer 2 that's the exception, and it's position is rather special as you noted.

    There's already been quite the backlash on Chinese and Korean forums, so I don't expect CA to show their face around there for a while.

    After thinking about it for a while, my guess is that their intent is to redesign the game with a 3K audience specifically in mind rather than having to serve as some kind of in-between Total War game. I think it's fairly clear that CA didn't like having to have the Records/Romance split (as evidenced by Furious Wilds being barely capable of being asked), and the constant references to the novel seem to signal that their intention is to compete more directly with KOEI's RoTK games. That probably means more scripted events and whatnot.

    It's also becoming clear to me that the game just couldn't handle the model it was under. The chapter pack scheme ended up creating more problems than it was worth. The irony is that the base game is actually pretty stable, but almost all the DLC related factions and start dates have notable bugs associated with them.
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  6. #1186
    Huberto's Avatar Praepositus
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Quote Originally Posted by zoner16 View Post
    After thinking about it for a while, my guess is that their intent is to redesign the game with a 3K audience specifically in mind rather than having to serve as some kind of in-between Total War game. I think it's fairly clear that CA didn't like having to have the Records/Romance split (as evidenced by Furious Wilds being barely capable of being asked), and the constant references to the novel seem to signal that their intention is to compete more directly with KOEI's RoTK games. That probably means more scripted events and whatnot.
    Agree this is their fundamental approach now, if not directly the reason for killing that one northern DLC they projected for release in July.

    Quote Originally Posted by zoner16 View Post
    It's also becoming clear to me that the game just couldn't handle the model it was under. The chapter pack scheme ended up creating more problems than it was worth. The irony is that the base game is actually pretty stable, but almost all the DLC related factions and start dates have notable bugs associated with them.
    The one possible silver lining here and this is total speculation is that they are moving to a new engine and don't want 3K and Asian audience left completely behind.

  7. #1187
    Welsh Dragon's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    To add to what Zoner16 and LolISuck said, another factor that has to be taken into consideration is Covid-19. I've already seen promising TV series, and even some that were already recommissioned for a new season (Stumptown you shall be missed,) get the chop because of the difficulties created by Covid-19. And while games development is a little different, its still had to adapt to a changing world.

    Hardware costs have skyrocketed because more people are having to work from home at least some of the week (meaning either laptops or two high performance setups, one in the office and one at home,) and there's also a component shortage that effects not just gamers but companies too, in part due to the rise of Bitcoin and other e-currencies. Projects also seem to be taking longer because you can't just quickly pop in to see what someone is doing or stop for a quick chat, you have to coordinate a Zoom call, post on Slack or send an email and wait for a reply. It's not solely a game development issue, but I think its fair to say it is effected by it.

    So while I don't think Covid-19 is the only reason they're doing what they're doing, it has to be considered a factor.

    All the Best,

    Welsh Dragon.

  8. #1188
    RafSwi7's Avatar Content Staff
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    In general it probably resulted from weaker sales of 3K in 2020.

    I looked up these leaked documents (Apple vs Epic) and I tried to guess potential profits from DLCs for 2020 based on some numbers from 2019.

    This is of course purely hypothetical.

    Assumptions:
    • The % of DLC revenues in comparsion to all revenues stays around the same (in 2019 it was 10% for 3K and 6% for WH2)
    • Steam sellers tiers and their min-max values rise around by 30%.


    Based on these 3K DLCs in 2020 (bronze tier) would have generated:
    • 10% - max $2,3 millions - min $410 thousands
    • 6% - max $1,4 millions - min $240 thousands


    For WH2 (silver tier) it would look like this in 2020:
    • 10% - max $4,2 millions - min $2,3 millions
    • 6% - max $2,4 millions - min $1,4 millions


    According to leaked documents in 2019 revenue from DLCs for 3K was $10 millions, while for WH2 it was $2 millions.

  9. #1189

    Default Re: New Historical total war era announcement coming on Thursday!

    If anyone is interested and unhappy with CA's recent 3k decision, here is a petition directed at those concerns: http://chng.it/wvn9QBsN please read, sign, and share if interested. Thank you.
    Last edited by lolIsuck; May 31, 2021 at 07:04 AM. Reason: Fixed link

  10. #1190
    valerius karamanus's Avatar Civis
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Well that was short. You guys said it all, statistics are there. Yet I'm not surprised with their decision to not give a Wu-Wei-Shu start date. From a technical viewpoint, this start date would make a very awkward campaign with just three super powers battling all over the map. Current state of Total War can't handle the scenario well. It requires much finer internal faction mechanics and detailed politics which I think we're going to see in this upcoming sequel. It would excite me a lot if it wasn't built on such a deceptive anti-consumer practice.

  11. #1191
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    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    Aye, in the end it all boils down to money. CA is a company like any other, and so profit tends to be pretty high up on the priority list. Which is a shame when it affects the consumer base, but as long as Warhammer 3 is as big a success as it's looking like it'll be, they'll survive the backlash on 3k
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  12. #1192

    Default Re: New Historical total war era - Total War: Three Kingdoms!

    CA and Sega expected a bunch of DLC sales, but turns out the Chinese customers they were chasing are more savvy than their western counterparts and want whole games and aren't willing to wait and pay extra for a game to become what is was promised to be.
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