UK based Creative Assembly, best known for its Total War series of games, has recently announced it is partnering with Chinese company NetEase. For those unfamiliar, NetEase is one of China’s leading internet and online game services providers. This deal will see NetEase get the rights to publish the entire Total War game catalog. This deal includes the publishing rights to the recent and widely popular Total War: Three Kingdoms.
Additionally, the announcement of this deal included the tease of a new game titled Total War: Elysium. This will be a departure from the Total War formula as Total War: Elysium will be a collectible card game. Not much is known about this game except it is going to have an initial release on PC and mobile devices in China. There is no word if this game will eventually be released worldwide or if it will be exclusively released in China. Personally, I think a worldwide release is an eventuality.
This deal is going to be very lucrative for Creative Assembly as it is also working on a tactical team-based shooter. This unannounced game is said to be part of a brand new major IP. With such a thing in the works it is no wonder Creative Assembly has secured a deal to have its games published in one of the biggest yet hardest markets to penetrate. The Creative Assembly share holders must be overjoyed hearing this deal has been secured.
However, gamers should be quite concerned by this news. You see, while there will be no immediate repercussions from such a deal, the long term ramifications are quite clear. China, a place known to strangle creativity, will eventually come to represent a substantial part of Creative Assembly’s, and other game companies, revenue stream. Once this happens there is no doubt in my mind China will start to pressure companies, Creative Assembly included, to alter or censor their games to fit China’s values. Enjoy your games while you can because the future is looking bleaker by the day.