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7.5m people claimed a free copy of A Total War Saga: Troy from the Epic Games Store

Marching on.

A Total War Saga: Troy's free launch on the Epic Games Store is a huge success - the game has been claimed by 7.5m players in just 24 hours.

This limited-time free giveaway on the Epic Game Store for Creative Assembly's strategy game exceeded the developer's expectations.

"We were optimistic but we couldn't have predicted this level of excitement," Rob Bartholomew, chief product officer said.

"It's been incredible to work with Epic on giving this brand new release away for free. Now we get to welcome so many strategy players - new and old - to experience this incredible Saga. We're very happy."

The free giveaway is now over, and A Total War Saga: Troy has reverted to its full price of £34.99.

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A Total War Saga: Troy is an Epic Games Store exclusive for 12 months. Back in June, Creative Assembly said this exclusivity and the free giveaway is a one-off deal for Troy, and there are no plans for future games to be Epic exclusives. The deal was about reaching a new audience, which clearly has worked out.

"Epic approached us and asked if Troy could be an Epic exclusive, as part of a commercial deal," Creative Assembly explained. "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 focused 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 [and] 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.

"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."

Rick Lane penned Eurogamer's A Total War Saga: Troy review, giving it a Recommended badge. "Total War heads to the Bronze Age for an entertaining and evocative brand of strategy," he wrote.

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