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Update (May 23, 2023): Total War: Pharaoh has officially been confirmed as the next historical Total War title.

Original (May 22, 2023): Total War: Pharaoh may be the next entry into the renowned strategy game series from Creative Assembly. Fans have discovered the name among the games listed on the Total War website, so it looks like someone prematurely put some upcoming changes to the site live, causing the leak.

Not long afterwards, reliable leaker billbil-kun came out of the woodworks with additional details. They revealed that Total War: Pharaoh would be available in two editions and have a pre-order bonus for those who purchase the title early:

  • Pre-order bonus: Heart of the Shardana and Avatar of the Gods (Cosmetic Packs)
  • Deluxe Edition content: Standard content, Faction Pack 1, and Soundtrack
  • Dynasty Edition content: Deluxe content, Faction Pack 2, Faction Pack 3, and Campaign Pack

This information can be corroborated with additional discoveries from the Total War website’s store. According to this, the standard edition will be priced at £49.99 / €59.99 on PC. It confirms the two other editions as well.

It seems pretty clear that Total War: Pharaoh is real and that it’s going to be a regular entry into the strategy game series, not a spin-off from some other genre – the planned DLC definitely is pointing into a traditional direction.

What’s unclear at the moment is the scope of the title. It doesn’t have the “Saga” label, which Creative Assembly has been using for smaller and more experimental titles like Thrones of Britannia or Troy, so we could be talking about a mainline entry here, which spans not just the territory of Egypt, but additional space in North Africa and the Middle East. Troy actually contained a little easter egg that points towards Egypt. If you turn the campaign map to look southwards, you’ll see the Egyptian gods on the horizon.

With “Pharaoh” in the title, Egypt as the main focus is a given – but the country has a history spanning millennia, so when could this game be set? While we can’t say for sure, one of the cosmetic packs included in the pre-order actually has a solid hint for us: the Shardana or Sherden were part of the mysterious Sea People, which showed up all over the Mediterranean during the time of the Bronze Age Collapse, a tumultuous period of societal collapse during the 12th century BCE. They are mentioned on a monument left behind by Ramesses II. the Great, one of Egypt’s most successful military commanders, who could be our titular Pharaoh at the start of the game. He led expeditions south into Nubia and east into Syria during his lifetime.

Another big question dividing the community ahead of the game’s official announcement, which can’t be far off, is if the game is going to be purely a historical title or if it will once again contain fantasy elements akin to Troy and Three Kingdoms.