Fall of the Samurai's new toys won't split Shogun 2's online playerbase

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Shogun 2: Total War's standalone expansion will let you play online with existing Shogun 2 players, even if they haven't bought it. Whether you've discovered Fall of the Samurai's trains, gatling guns and cannons or not, you'll still be able to compete online with swords and muskets.

“One of the things that we made sure of with Fall of the Samurai is that we didn't split the online community”, says James Russell, Lead Designer on the series. Players without Fall of the Samurai can play against people with the expansion. That's really important to us. We want to make sure that people who buy the new game can play against the guys playing Shogun 2.

James stressed that maintaining context during the online battles is still a priority for Creative Assembly.

“Total War - particularly the campaign side - is a very unique, thoughtful, deep experience that we want to maintain. We definitely want to keep Total War as an immersive experience even though we want to create multiplayer battles that you can get in and out of quickly, and have fun if you've only got half and hour.”

"We have lots of plans to make multiplayer into a more compelling experience,” continued Jamie.

Shogun 2: Total War was the most multiplayer-focused game in the franchise so far, bringing a co-op campaign and fully-featured online component to the franchise. Yesterday we also chatted to James Russell about how the team juggle historical accuracy with a need for balance and sensible mechanics.

For more on Rise of the Samurai, watch part one of our exclusive interview or read Tim Stone's in-depth feature in PC Gamer issue 236.