Creative Assembly apologizes for ‘missteps’ and says Total War: Warhammer 3 DLC will become better value and players will receive partial refunds for Total War: Pharaoh

The Total War: Warhammer series has a tradition of excellent DLC, whether it adds new armies like Curse of the Vampire Coast, expands existing ones like The Warden & The Paunch, or offers an entirely new campaign mode like the free Mortal Empires and Immortal Empires add-ons. The recent Shadows of Change DLC for Total War: Warhammer 3 was not so well-received, however, being sold for the same price as one of the full army-adding expansions while offering value closer to that of a faction-expanding one.

After a storm of negative user reviews, developer harassment, and the Total War subreddit becoming entirely unreadable due to the flood of complaints, Creative Assembly’s vice president Roger Collum has issued an official apology on behalf of the Total War leadership team. 

“We have listened to your feedback on Shadows of Change and we know that we failed to meet your expectations of what a DLC should be”, he wrote. “To address that, we are enhancing our offer for everyone who purchased Shadows of Change with more content and a commitment to ensuring that we better meet your expectations going forward.”

The next DLC on the schedule, Thrones of Decay, will have more stuff jammed into it as well. Its release is being pushed back from winter of this year to April 2024 to make time for that, while the update to Shadows of Change is currently scheduled for February of next year. “We’ll make sure that you know exactly what’s coming in Thrones of Decay before pre-orders are available,” Collum wrote, “and make sure that you have full transparency around the content before you see ‘Buy Now’ buttons.”

Collum also promised the recently increased cadence of updates—which saw additions like a skill point reset option as well as bug fixes—would continue. “We can’t commit to a fixed number of updates each month, as we’ll ultimately release these based on the content that we’re building, and the issues we see you raising that need our attention. However, over these last few months, we’ve released a game update roughly every two weeks and where we can, we’d like to stick to that through 2024.”

(Image credit: Creative Assembly)

Total War: Pharaoh was also addressed, following similar complaints about its value. A smaller-scale entry in the series, it was nevertheless sold for $60/£50 at launch. That price is dropping by $20/£30, and anyone who bought it for the higher price will be able to claim a partial refund. If you bought it through Steam, you should see the credit in your Steam wallet “In the next few days”.

“We don’t think it’s fair that our fans, who put their trust in us on PHARAOH, should in any way feel disadvantaged for buying the game at the previous price”, Collum wrote. “We’ve also removed the higher priced editions of the game, the Deluxe Edition, and Dynasty Edition. There’s now only one edition of the game available for purchase.”

Furthermore, what was planned to be Pharaoh’s initial paid DLC is now becoming a free update, and will be out early next year. 

Collum finished by saying, “We again apologise for the missteps we’ve made. The mistakes of Total War are a shared responsibility by all the leaders of the franchise, and while it may not seem like it at times, we are listening. We really hope that the extra love we’re pouring into WARHAMMER III DLC, our several recent updates, and the changes for PHARAOH show our heartfelt commitment to these games and to you.”

Just two months ago Sega canceled Creative Assembly’s in-development extraction shooter Hyenas, and said the studio would go back to focusing on RTS games in the future.

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