2021 has plenty of video games already, so maybe it’s a good thing that we won’t be seeing Total War: Warhammer 3 until sometime next year.
Creative Assembly announced overnight that the latest iteration of its Chaos invasion simulator would be delayed until “early 2022”. There wasn’t a huge amount of specifics given for the delay — although COVID is as good an excuse as any given everything. And given how sprawling Total War‘s systems are, and how much every release has historically needed a ton of optimisation at launch, the longer the delay, the better.
There’s a couple of interesting things in here, though. Firstly: We’ll still get the reveal of Grand Cathay, which has been teased for months, tomorrow Australian time. The lore behind Cathay in the Warhammer universe is fascinating as all hell, and I’m keen to see how the devs adopt the faction’s expertise in opium, silk, spice and jade trade into the Total Warhammer setting. Trade isn’t something that Total Warhammer has done especially well — hell, it wasn’t until Three Kingdoms that Total War’s diplomacy mechanics started to get interesting.
The second part that sticks out is a line in the second paragraph. “We don’t consider this release [to be] the end of our trilogy, but the start of years of content and support,” Creative Assembly’s Rob Bartholomew wrote. That doesn’t necessarily mean a Total Warhammer 4 is on the way per se. Developers have been eyeing off live service models for all kinds of genres, and what Paradox has done with Crusader Kings 3, where you build a platform that can support a decade of mods, DLC and patches, would be well suited for Warhammer 3. (Creative Assembly also still needs to make good on some of the content promises made for previous Total Warhammer titles, something I’m sure the studio is well aware of.)
Anyway, early 2022 will be a good time for some classic Total War combat. I just hope it doesn’t release in February, because that month has enough going on already.