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Total War: Pharaoh will be partially refunded, first DLC to be free update

Massive changes around the Bronze Age game
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Creative Assembly has announced that the first of several planned DLC packs for Total War: Pharaoh will be a free update instead of a paid expansion, which will be released in early 2024. It's called High Tide and will feature two playable leaders from the Sea Peoples, Ialaos of the Sherden and Walwetes of the Peleset.

Furthermore the company reduced the game’s price to $39.99 USD / €39.99 EUR / £29.99 GBP, removing all the more expensive editions of the title along with the promised DLC included in them. Everyone who bought the game for a higher price will be partially refunded the difference.

Instead of paid DLC, free updates will be developed for the game to expand its scope. Among the highly requested features to be added in this way are the mortality of your faction leaders and thus a succession system, new cultures and territories, and higher unit variety.

Total War: Pharaoh Ramesses at the head of his army.

Creative Assembly has committed to huge changes around Total War: Pharaoh.

It looks like everything else about Total War: Pharaoh’s future is currently in flux. A statement made by Creative Assembly vice president Roger Collum says:

We have now begun the process of reassessing what comes next for PHARAOH, and while we don’t have all the answers today, we want to make it clear to you that we’re not closing the door on other, more ambitious updates to the game in the future. We’ve still got big plans, but we want to be honest with you in saying that we need to spend more time with them before putting them out on show.

Whilst we have removed the Dynasty Edition of the game from our lineup and have internally changed up our plans for what we go on to do next, we’ll still be releasing incremental updates to the game that help to bring fixes and changes to the core experience along the way. One plan that we’ve always had since the early stages of development on PHARAOH is to expand the size of our campaign map as a free update, and to introduce even more factions and cultures to the game. We’ll have more to say, and to show, what that looks like in the new year after our next update for PHARAOH releases.

The uncertainty around Total War: Pharaoh’s future might be the consequence of the game seemingly not having done very well commercially until now. Pharaoh was not able to achieve a high player count on Steam, remaining well behind Total War: Warhammer 3 as well as older historical entries into the series. This is especially bad timing due to the company being under pressure after the cancelation of Hyenas.

The blog post, which contained this reveal, provided information about the next plans for Total War: Warhammer 3 and its DLCs as well, which include a delay of Thrones of Decay.