If the post-launch game bugs and performance issues didn’t eat up Creative Assembly, the recent backlash over Rome II’s missing DLC just might.
Last week, players rampaged on the Total War forums accusing Creative Assembly of holding back existing content in Total War: Rome II so that it could charge them later on as paid DLC. Something we usually see EA doing.
The content – the Camel Cataphracts and Mercenary Naked Swords units that were included in the paid-for Beasts of War and Caesar in Gaul DLCs respectively, is alleged to be already present in the game and can also be seen in the promotional videos that were released before the DLC’s release.
However brand director Rob Bartholomew has stated that the issue was a “misunderstanding of what’s being shown combined with a marketing error which I certainly appreciate doesn’t look good, but wasn’t our intent to mislead.”
Addressing the backlash today, Bartholomew said that the “Camel Cataphract” and “Mercenary Naked Swords” units seen in the promotional videos are nothing more than work-in-progress content that was “subject to change and revision” before the game eventually shipped. At the time the video was recorded, these units were unfinished in terms of art and gameplay.
“Obviously we don’t want to feature content that won’t be in the game intentionally,” said Bartholomew. “Especially where it would otherwise be pointless, as in this case where there was a huge variety of other great units to show off. That’s our basic human error and I apologize for letting that through.”
On the issue of Total War: Rome II containing on-disc DLC that has to be enabled by Creative Assembly when players pay for it, Bartholomew said that the content in question is included so that all versions of the game client are updated simultaneously. This allows multiplayer games to work between players who do have the DLC and those who do not.
“We’ve done this with previous titles (as do other game devs)… We think it is the best solution all round to ensure that everyone’s game is up to date.”
All of that said, Total War: Rome II is still an extremely good game from the franchise and a simple misunderstanding over some missing content shouldn’t have the community bring out their pitchforks.