New Expansions for Old Games

With Creative Assembly announcing a new expansion for Total War: Rome II four years after its release, Jack Coles examines the growing trend of late expansions for older games

Jack Coles
27th November 2017
Emperor Aurelian trying out his latest Dark Souls cosplay (Image: Creative Assembly).

There was a new expansion announced for Total War: Rome II earlier this month, which was weird, given that the game in question came out in 2013. Rome II was like that kid that had so much potential, but ended up burning out and trying to sell you blood to improve its financial situation, all the while disappointing its parents Rome I and Medieval II.

Not to say that it’s a bad game; nowadays it’s actually pretty decent, now that it has been thoroughly patched and all the rip-off DLCs that should have been included as standard now can be easily bought on sale.

Strategy games often seem to take their time with DLC

This is what makes me suspicious, though. Sure, this new expansion is touted as such, but the price isn’t too different to one of those campaign DLCs you can get for Rome II. They name-drop various different unit types and factions, but in the end, I can’t help feeling that this more of a campaign mode, rather than a major expansion. Having said that (and as far as I know) there has never been a major base-game changing expansion in a Total War game; they’ve always been very keen on making alternative campaigns instead.

When you think about it, though, strategy games often seem to take their time with the DLC. Maybe that’s because strategies have more loyal fanbases, as the market isn’t as saturated as the FPS’. Consider Civilization IV, which had its Beyond the Sword expansion come two years after its release. Or, a more extreme example is Age of Mythology: Tale of the Dragon for Age of Mythology came out fourteen years post-release, and the Rise of the Rajas DLC for AoE II came out seventeen years after the base game’s release! That’s insane. That’s like releasing a sequel to Blade Runner in 2017.

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