Thrones of Britannia makes significant changes to the Total War formula (opens in new tab), said Tom earlier this year. But these adjustments have upset some players (opens in new tab)—which is something its latest Allegiance update aims to address.
Game director Jack Lusted admits Thrones' reviews weren't as universally positive as he'd hoped, but says he appreciates how much it shakes up Total War as we otherwise know it.
"The Total War player base is extremely broad in their tastes, they disagree often and with impressive passion," Lusted tells us. "Our games are big and with all the various features, systems and facets, we know no one game is going to be all things to all players. But with Thrones, we were confident that a strong majority would enjoy it and see the value in the changes we’d made."
Lusted says to see the game accrue a "mixed response" at launch was tough, mostly because this label has negative connotations despite the game's positive attributes. Lusted adds that while he and his team stand by a number of the core changes Thrones makes to the Total War blueprint, the balance patch rolled out in May was a step towards getting players back onside—and that deeper changes resulted in the Allegiance update.
"The Allegiance update represents us taking another shot at helping Thrones to reach its full potential as a game that more of our players love and want to continue playing for years to come," says Lusted. "It addresses much of what some felt was lacking with the game, adding in some new features as well as expanding and improving on other areas of the game to enhance the overall experience.
"Now it’s released, along with the Blood, Sweat & Spears DLC, we’ll turn again to player feedback to see what next steps we may want to take. From what we’ve seen so far, the update has created a lot of positivity which is really encouraging."
Lusted describes the Saga series as "another string to our bow", and says its players "really support the idea" behind it. Sagas hold "huge potential" to steer Total War in new directions, says Lusted, and, as the Allegiance mechanic is based on the culture mechanic from Rome 2 and the religion mechanic from Attila, Thrones now pushes the envelope beyond what we're used to.
As for the future, Lusted remains positive about growing the Saga series while continually listening to and adapting following player feedback. He says: "We fully intend to provide ongoing support for Thrones but our first step is analysing how players have responded to the update before settling on what we do next."
Additional reporting by Samuel Roberts.