Two weeks ago the reveal trailer for Warhammer: Total war III has been released, showing hints of things to come. While some details, like the presence of Chaos units and the focus on Kislev, has been already discussed, what people don’t really know is the peculiar link with Games Workshop, Age of Sigmar and the end of the Old World.
Games Workshop is currently the biggest miniature company in the world. Their brands are incredibly famous, spawining generations of warhammer books, videogames and even movies. The recent success of the new Warhammer: Total War saga is not a surprise, merging two famous brands into one great collaboration.
Usually the transition from tabletop to videogame is pretty easy, having a great range of units and characters to import from the physical game to the virtual world, usually supervisioned by GW themselves: but Total War III will be unusual in this case, as the videogame will show new units before the tabletop (more on that later)
But most important, what many people don’t know, is that the setting of Warhammer, the Old World, does not exist anymore.
It was blown to pieces. Literally
After the End of Times series of books and events, the setting of Warhammer Fantasy…ended. The Old World literally exploded after Archaon, the big Evil Guy, blew it up.
What happened after that?
Games workshop tried to reinvent itself launching a new setting, Age of Sigmar, with the intention both to simplify the game and have more creative freedom by switching from an historical medieval fantasy to an heroic fantasy setting
The Age of Sigmar launch was…not particolary well received (let’s not forget the guy burning his entire army in protest) for many reasons, from gameplay without limitations to the drastic switch of the setting.
5 Years have passed and the game changed and was polished a lot over time, learning from its mistakes and generating a new universe filled with interesting factions and heroes (many of witch coming from the old settings). Games Workshop shares, especially after the change of direction and CEO, which bringed new ways to communicate and open to fans, marketing and feedback, increased esponentially its market presence as never as before.
And, listening to fans, the Old World was revived
While the details are yet hidden, it appears it will be a specialist game focused on human historical factions (like Bretonnia) within the Empire, and it will use square bases.
So, returning to Warhammer: Total War III, what is unusual?
As both game are still in development, Games Workshop took a strong creative stance, and confirmed it’s working closely with Creative Assembly as never as before, injecting the “new” faction designs directly into the game as they work on the tabletop version.
This means that we will see new units in the videogame before the tabletop, a first for Warhammer.
But what about the future?
As the setting is, well, kinda done, Age of Sigmar exists, and is more interesting than ever with a new edition, spinoff competitive games, a tabletop RPG and an incoming new version of Warhammer Quest
There are some games getting developed, most interesting of all being Age of Sigmar: Stormground by Focus-Interactive, but the brand do not have yet recognition in the video game market, not nearly as much as Warhammer 40000 or the Old World. And until someone steps in and create the equivalent of what Dawn of War was for Warhammer 40k, it will probably stay this way.
But hey, a man can dream