By Joshua Waddles
30 May 2021
In a bizarre move, Creative Assembly released a video announcing it will no longer create content for Total War: Three Kingdoms. 3K joins a long list of games abandoned by CA in favor of more profitable projects, but the strangeness comes from the fact that Creative Assembly decided to make a special announcement. In a video released on May 27, developers thanked the fans and celebrated the game and the community, giving stats on the millions of “soldiers killed” in the game and campaigns begun. They then announced that the latest update would be the last for 3K.
Players immediately review bombed Three Kingdoms on its Steam page, angry over bug issues and promised content which was never delivered. Fans said they were promised a Northern expansion featuring barbarians. More than that, the 3K never reached the Three Kingdoms Period, the period the game was named after.
Social media, a few days later, was filled with fans and moderators calling for calm and asking 3K fans not to take their ire out on fans of Total War: Warhammer. While the rivalry between historical Total War fans and Warhammer fans might be a bit exaggerated (certainly nothing compared to the fights between MCU and DCEU fans a few years ago), there has been a bit of a rivalry, with a minority of historical fantasy fans blaming Total War: Warhammer for the lack of historical content and features they disliked in more modern historical games.
The fact that 3K’s abandonment comes so soon before the release of Total War: Warhammer III does nothing to mend fences between the two fandoms. This is further complicated by the fact that Warhammer III will launch with the Cathay faction, a fantasy faction inspired by medieval China.
Fans speculated, on Reddit and live streams, that the reason for the abandonment was because not enough people were purchasing the DLC for 3K. While CA will no longer create DLC for 3K (unless there should be an unexpected surge in DLC purchases), they do plan to create an entirely new game based on the Three Kingdoms. In the video, developers said the new game was entering the pre-production stages. In a comment on the video, developers clarified that the new 3K game will not be connected to the old 3K game.
The Total War: Warhammer games are all connected. DLC purchased for Warhammer I was playable on Warhammer II and presumably will be on Warhammer III, but the clarification post would seem to indicate that those few who did purchase the two DLCs for Three Kingdoms will not be able to use that DLC on Three Kingdoms II.