A Total War Saga: TROY will be an Epic Games store exclusive, SEGA announced today, with a Steam version now due in Summer 2021. Additionally, anyone will be able to grab it for free via the Epic Games store on the day of release, August 13th.
Tim Heaton, Chief Studios Officer at Sega Europe Ltd, stated in a press release:
Thanks to Epic, we're able to offer a Total War title for free on its launch day. It's a hugely exciting thing for us to be able to do for our players. Not only does this mean that we can bring the tales and legends of TROY to a wide audience through Epic’s massive platform, but it also means new players will get to try Total War for the first time, experiencing the unique gameplay that the series is famous for.
A much lengthier explanation was shared in a blog post published on the game's official site.
While we know that some of you won’t like the Epic Games Store exclusivity, we feel like this is a great opportunity for us in a lot of ways, and we’re hoping that you’ll take some time to hear us out and for us to answer what some of the questions we think you might have.
First of all: this is an opportunity for TROY specifically, and we have no plans for future games to be Epic exclusives. As developers we truly value our existing fans, but at the same time we want to reach new audiences and have as many people as possible experiencing the thrill of Total War for themselves. As a business that means putting Total War onto new platforms so that it can reach more players. This is part of that and in principal we’d like future Total War titles to be simultaneously available, from launch day, on as many store fronts as possible.
Right now, this is a one-time, one-year exclusive deal for TROY. We’ve always said that Saga titles allow us to experiment, and this is an experiment on a grand scale. TROY seemed like a good game to try this out with, especially as pre-orders aren’t live on Steam yet, so no one’s already put money into a store they’ll have to wait 12 extra months for it to appear on.
So now that’s out the way, here’s a little more backstory. Epic approached us and asked if TROY could be an Epic exclusive, as part of a commercial deal. 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!). It was a difficult decision, and you can be assured that there were a lot of differing opinions in the studio, and a lot of discussions about it – which largely focussed on what it would mean for you, the players.
However, ultimately we considered two things. First we’re at a time when we’re looking to invest more into the ongoing development of Total War this felt like an opportunity to really move the franchise forward by getting it in front of more people. Secondly, Epic were paying for our players to have our latest release free on day one. For Total War’s 20th birthday, that felt like an opportunity too good to pass up.
As mentioned, and like others in the industry, a key reason for exploring other digital stores is that we don’t want to be limited just to Steam. We also want to diversify our business. In fact, we want to get our games onto as many stores as possible. Long term, we want to expand where players find Total War. This deal gives us a great way to try out other platforms, such as Epic – to see what works for us and what doesn’t. It allows us to get a feel for the development required to expand to other platforms, and it’s relatively risk-free for you, too, as the game’s available for free when claimed in the first 24 hours.
This opportunity allows expansive back-end infrastructure development that will allow us to expand into multiple stores. That means we can have more resources, push ourselves further, be more creative, make more Total War. We’re always looking to evolve and improve on our games and this deal gives us a lot of ways to do that – as we said, fresh perspectives, money that we’ll be putting back into the studio, new ways to expand.
You might not immediately see a big change, but we’re confident you will over time – and we guarantee there are a lot of things behind the scenes being made possible due to this, which we wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to do. Some of this is long-term – but there are short-term benefits to you, as well as us.
Check back later this week for our hands-on preview of A Total War Saga: TROY. Meanwhile, there's a new trailer below for you to enjoy.