I’ve been a huge fan of Creative Assembly since 2000 with its release of the original Shogun: Total War. (Yes, for those of you who don’t know Creative Assembly are the Total War people) Since then I’ve purchased and played every game in the series. In fact, until recently, I don’t think I’ve had a poor experience with one of their games…ever. But this isn’t really a review of their products. This is an observation that CA just might be falling into the same pattern that so many other companies are heading down. The Social Justice business model. The same one that birthed the tag #GetWokeGoBroke.
So, what exactly happened?
Well, there seems to be a pattern where companies look at the big push for Social Justice as a profitable pool to take a dip in. It, of course, is not. Star Wars and Marvel comics are two big examples of big-name franchises happily setting their own ships on fire with Political Correctness and then wondering why it’s sinking. And to be fair to CA, it’s been quite some time since they pulled off a win.
Shogun 2: Total War was a hit. I still play it today. Everything runs smooth. The soldiers look fantastic. The movements are natural and fluid. It’s a terrific game. Then Rome II: Total War hit the market as an unsightly mess. Tons of glitches and other mishaps made the game nearly unplayable. (Also, a year per turn? Whose bright idea was it to bring that back?) Since then, Rome II is been mostly fixed, but it still doesn’t hold a candle to Shogun 2. Warhammer Total War followed up Rome II and it fell short of expectations. It fell so short, in fact, that just a year later they released Warhammer Total War 2. Now they’re releasing more isolated locations during certain time periods – like Thrones of Britannia which are far less spectacular.
On Sept 25, the CA Twitter account liked a particular tweet that should send red flags shooting up for any Total War fan.
That’s right. Much like Marvel, Hollywood, Google, Apple, and many other evil corporations – CA has shown an interest in playing moral arbiter over their customers. The side that says companies should pick and choose who gets to buy their products based on political beliefs. And as we all know by now, when one of these crazy left-wingers uses the term Nazi, they don’t mean Nazi – they mean conservative or someone who disagrees with their own beliefs.
So, what happens now?
CA has built its company on producing games that accurately represent different eras in history. Will they now start making new “woke” versions of their games? Are we going to Roman legions where men and women march side by side in equal numbers? Is Julius Caesar going to come out as transgender or black or Muslim?
I remember left-wing nutjobs saying that Dunkirk should’ve had female soldiers or more black soldiers because we have “moved on.” Will CA make the same argument? Will they steer away from being historically accurate because we’re apparently a post-fact, post-truth society?
Let’s hope not. I still really like Creative Assembly. I’m still hoping their next game will be a big hit. Every company gets into a slump. But if they #GetWoke, I have no doubt they will #GoBroke.