The strategic armyman management of Total War is being flattened into digital cardboard with Total War: Elysium, a collectable card game made by Creative Assembly. The series overlords call this "a multiplayer strategy game based on Total War background," a background which is... history? That's just history isn't it? Unless Napoleon's next match after Sun Ren there ↑ is against Thorgrim Grudgebearer, mind. I'd watch that face-off.
Elysium will will debut in China as part of a partnership with megapublishers NetEase, then Creative Assembly say they want to launch it globally later once it's proper good.
"Total War: Elysium is a new title and a new genre for us, and we want to give it the best possible chance for success," Creative Assembly say in an FAQ. "China gives us a huge audience of CCG fans to learn from so we can eventually bring the game to the rest of the world in better shape than ever."
How Elysium works and how it'll be monetised for western audiences and all that are a mystery for now. I can tell you it has: cards; history; strategy; other players.
When we do see more of the game, I will be very pleased to learn if the cards Napoleon holds in that bit of concept art are actual Elysium game cards. What's his hand? Why's he looking dour? What's Sun Ren got on him? Chin up, Boney.
Creative Assembly say they "hope to bring it to players worldwide before too long," though I don't know what that means when you work with timescales across millennia. For now, you can sign up for an Elysium newsletter through the game's English website.
NetEase also nabbed the Chinese publishing rights for all Total War games. Creative Assembly promised in a follow-up FAQ that people in China playing Total War games on Steam "will not be affected in any way." Steam's in an unofficial grey area in China, see, so to officially launch Total War there they need a local partner - hence this deal. Creative Assembly do say they still "have full control of the game development" with that too.