Prohibition-era mobster strategy game Empire of Sin had a bit of a mixed reception at launch last year, but Romero Games has continued to improve the experience with much-needed bug fixes, AI improvements and more since then. Now, though, the developer says it's ready to turn its attention back to creating new content, and has announced a new premium expansion, Make It Count, alongside a new free update, known as The Precinct, for all players.
Make It Count will, among other things, introduce new boss Meyer Lansky - AKA the Mob's Accountant, a prominent figure in the real-life American organised crime scene of the era. Lansky joins Empire of Sin's existing 14-strong boss roster and is said to excel at economics and create combat synergy in-game.
On the subject of gangsters, Make It Count adds another five, all with the new Fixer profession - used to mediate conflict between gangsters and smooth over fractious relationships. Additionally, Fixers have new combat skills focussed on long-range fire power and area control, and can be used to unlock the new Loan Shark racket.
Loan Sharks operate out of existing store fronts (and have their own unique interiors) and can be managed by players directly once unlocked by a Fixer. These act as passive source of income that, thanks to the high interest rates involved in loans, can be extremely lucrative - although there's always the risk customers won't be able to pay a loan back. In these instances, players can decide how they want to deal with customers, perhaps even resorting to blackmail.
Also promised are new combat maps and a range of new missions focussing on Lanksy and his Fixers. Expect more on Make It Count closer to its release "later this year".
As for The Precinct, it's a free major content update that promises some major shakeups for Empire of Sin's base game, all revolving around the new ability to divide each neighbourhood up into multiple large-area precincts.
That might not sound exciting initially, but the idea is you'll be able to manage precincts rather than individual buildings - for instance, upgrading several rackets at once using global changes - dramatically improving player Empire management. The aim is to streamline the experience and reduce the overabundance of information players previously had to juggle once their empires reached a certain size - a move that'll also see the messy Economics screen removed.
Precincts will also help players set up supply lines and a defensible perimeter, and will include something called The Depot, which functions as the centrepiece for the control of a region. Essentially, this is the source of supplies for your rackets, the place where your money comes back to, and is required to link your financial empire together; it's important enough, in other words, that if someone manages to take control of a Depot, they take the whole precinct.
Lastly, precincts feature their own upgrades and improvements, such as the Wire Service that lets casino earn more money, or the Mob Lawyer who discourages police from operating in a neighbourhood. More improvement choices are available than slots, meaning you'll need to think carefully about how you boost your assets - the gameplay goal being to increase both customisation and depth of strategy.
The free update will include the new Chi-Town Mogul and (diplomacy focussed) Buyout paths to victory, plus improvements to police and law enforcement. It'll also usher in phase one of Empire of Sin's mod support, bringing new modding tools that'll expand over time.
There's no release date for Empire of Sin's paid Make It Count expansion and the free The Precinct update just yet, but both will arrive on Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC simultaneously later this year.