Creative Assembly announce Total War Elysium amid partnership with Chinese publisher NetEase

Total War: Three Kingdoms
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It was genius for Creative Assembly to tap into the huge and growing market of Chinese gamers on Steam, propelling Total War: Three Kingdoms to the best launch in Total War history. It comes as little surprise then to see CA begin to make more efforts to court Chinese fans, announcing a partnership with NetEase to re-publish the entire Total War back catalogue, a new game in the form of Total War: Elysium, and the resurrection of the canned Total War: Arena. 

NetEase is a huge Chinese online services company whose partnership will help Creative Assembly navigate the treacherous waters of trying to release games in China. For one thing, you can’t even publish a game in China without a Chinese publishing partner.

So, NetEase will be helping CA with the whole shebang, starting with bringing the Total War historical back-catalogue to China, which is pretty much self-explanatory. This is all off CA’s older titles rejigged for a Chinese audience. Simple.

Next up is Total War: Elysium. A completely new project, this is a Total War-themed collectible card game. We should imagine long-time Total War fans won’t be overly enamoured by this as it’s clearly not in the spirit of what’s come before from the franchise. Reading between the lines, it doesn’t even sound as if Total War: Elysium is even planned to release outside of China for a fair while. “It’s slated to launch in China first,” explains CA, “where CCGs are particularly popular and NetEase has some extensive experience, but we hope to bring it to players worldwide before too long.”

And, last but not least, Total War: Arena is back. This free-to-play spin on Total War made it to beta testing but was then shut down in February of this year. It’s been given a second chance to survive now, although Arena will be returning as a China-exclusive title.

If you’re wondering how all this affects every one of us that isn’t in China, well, Creative Assembly says it’ll just be business as usual. They claim this partnership won’t affect their roadmap whatsoever so we can only assume they’re hiring up to support the publishing deal. For the neat future then, expect all sorts of additional content and expansions for Total War: Three Kingdoms, as well as the eventual announcement of Total War: Warhammer 3.