For every Total War game, there are dozens of ambitious mods. Some, like Europa Barbarorum for Rome, overhaul the game to reflect the period in which it's set with a scholarly degree of historical accuracy. Others, like the Darth mods, prettify everything with a bundle of graphical updates tweak enemy AI to make the games more challenging.
Despite modders' enthusiasm for the series, the Total War games have never been especially easy to meddle with. If anything, they're getting harder to tweak. Is this a deliberate move to help sell more DLC by reducing fan-made alternatives? We asked Creative Assembly studio director Mike Simpson that very question.
"That isn't the case. If anything, we tend towards: the more mod support, the more DLC you'll sell," he said. "It has always been quite difficult to support mods quite well and it's quite a lot of work, so we'd end up not doing something else."
The increasing complexity of the Total War engine will have made modding trickier, but it also makes creating user friendly mod tools more difficult on the development side, too. "We'll do more," Simpson said. "We will do more."
We asked Mike Simpson if the team at Creative Assembly have been watching the launch of the Steam Workshop, and the explosion of TF2 and Skyrim mods that have resulted.
"Yeah, we're looking at that as well. We should be letting people do this," he said. There's no philosophical problem with modding at all."
"I can imagine situations where it might run into trouble if someone started to do a mod that happened to be the thing we were doing in the next game, then we'd be thinking do we really want to encourage that?" he added with a laugh.
The standalone expansion, Total War: Shogun 2 Fall of the Samurai, is coming out on Friday. It's good. Find out why in our
Total War: Shogun 2 Fall of the Samurai review
, and have a peek at our
ten top tips to help you take back Japan
. Hint: use guns. Lots of guns.