If you want some free Total War action — and we’re not talking about this or this or even this — you’ll have a chance to snag the upcoming A Total War Saga: Troy in August. The game recreates the legendary Trojan War, letting players take on the roles of Achilles, Hector, and other legendary heroes of ancient Greece.
You’ll have to act in a timely fashion, however, as the saga chapter will be available for free to keep for one day, Aug. 13, 2020. That’s the day it’s scheduled to launch on the Epic Games Store, where it will remain as an exclusive for one year before becoming available on Steam and other digital storefronts. In the FAQ describing the decision to go with Epic, Creative Assembly said that it has “no plans for future games to be Epic exclusives,” likely in an attempt to curb panic that mainline entries into the series would be locked into the EGS.
The announcement of the move also mentioned that, since pre-orders for Troy aren’t yet live on Steam, “no one’s already put money into a store they’ll have to wait 12 extra months for it to appear on.” This was likely a calculated move, considering the backlash other titles have received for offering pre-orders on Steam before jumping ship to Epic.
And yes, while mentioning various benefits of this move, such as “putting Total War onto new platforms so that it can reach more players,” CA does acknowledge a financial incentive to the deal, saying “That’s not to say that we immediately signed on the dotted line, or that money was the only reason that we did this (it’s not!)” and “Epic were paying for our players to have our latest release free on day one.” The move will help CA with “expansive back-end infrastructure development that will allow us to expand into multiple stores.”
As a final note, CA encourages players to “keep any criticism to the studio as a whole, and don’t take it out on individual employees that you might find on various social media platforms.” All in all, it’s about as well-measured a statement as you could ask for from a company regarding a potentially sensitive issue.