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News video games 27 November 2023, 16:36

author: Jacob Blazewicz

Classic Total War Attracts Players With Low Price; Pharaoh Loses Popularity

Total War: Pharaoh is the only part of the series not discounted in the Autums sale on Steam, but the game was already attracting fewer players than Shogun 2 and Three Kingdoms, among others, before it began.

Source: Creative Assembly / SEGA.
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The latest installment of Total War failed to win recognition from fans of the series and reviewers. This is partly why Total War: Shogun 2 has regained some players since the release of the Egyptian installment of the series.

As noted by Internet users (via X), the number of Steam users playing Shogun 2 at the same time has increased noticeably since the release of Pharaoh. The game even managed to double the threshold of 4,000 active players at the same time (via Steam Charts).

It should be noted at the same time that on November 21, the second Shogun and other old games from the Total War series have been discounted as part of Steam's autumn sale. Until tomorrow, the basic version of the game can be purchased for less than $9.

Admittedly, the title was once available for free, but after three years there could be newcomers willing to check out the game. Especially since the DLCs to it were also heavily discounted - base game and all DLCs for Shogun 2 can be bought for less than $25.

However, this does not mean that the game has gained players only due to the sale.

  1. The title was identically discounted several times this year: in September, in June, in July and in March (via SteamDB). Despite this, so far the number of concurrently active players has not once exceeded 4,000 users.
  2. Moreover, the increase in popularity of Shogun 2 began long before the start of the sale. For the first time, the 4,000-player threshold was crossed on November 13 - more than a week before the start of the sale. Throughout September and October and the first half of November, the game rarely entertained more than 3,000 players at a time. However, it is noticeable that more or less since the middle of last month their number has steadily increased.

Moreover, for a long time Shogun 2 has been attracting significantly more players than Pharaoh. The latter did slightly better at its all-time peak (keeping in mind that the statistics do not go back to 2011, when TW:S2 debuted). Only that already at the end of October there were times when the game had less than a thousand users in the game at the same time, and since mid-November their number sometimes drops even below 500 players. Shogun 2 has not performed even half as bad even once this year.

The score of Pharaoh is no better when compared with other major installments of the series. Three Kingdoms, Total War: Rome Remastered or Total War: Attila and without the autumn sale beat it to the punch, and comparisons with the Total War: Warhammer sub-cycle even don't make much sense. Suffice it to mention that the third installment is the only game in the series that can be found among the one hundred most popular titles on Steam.

So it is difficult to defend the thesis that TW:P gave way to its predecessors only for the duration of Steam's autumn sale. Not that we need to look long for the reasons, because since its release, fans have been loudly criticizing not only the game itself. Disappointment with Pharaoh has intensified complaints about the actions of Creative Assembly, increasingly frequent after the questionable development of Warhammer 3.

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Graduated with a master's degree in Polish Studies from the University of Warsaw with a thesis dedicated to this very subject. Started his adventure with GRYOnline.pl in 2015, writing in the Newsroom and later also in the film and technology sections (also contributed to the Encyclopedia). Interested in video games (and not only video games) for years. He began with platform games and, to this day, remains a big fan of them (including Metroidvania). Also shows interest in card games (including paper), fighting games, soulslikes, and basically everything about games as such. Marvels at pixelated characters from games dating back to the time of the Game Boy (if not older).

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