Brenda and John Romero's Prohibition-era mobster strategy game Empire of Sin will receive its first paid expansion, Make It Count, next Thursday, 18th November, and it'll be joined by the free Precinct update for all players on the same day.
Make It Count adds new boss Maxim Zelnick, known as the Mob's Fixer, to the existing 14-strong roster, alongside a range of other gameplay additions. Loan Sharks are in as a new racket type, for instance, providing a potentially lucrative new passive source of income - and potential new event-based complications if customers can't afford afford to repay loans.
In order to open a Loan Shark racket, crews must have the new Fixer gangster type in their ranks. These units specialise in "making problems disappear", which Romero Games previously explained meant they could mediate conflicts between gangsters and smooth over fractious relationships. Fixers can also bribe their way out of combat situations but have access to the new Caltrops combat ability when fisticuffs are unavoidable.
Finally, Make It Count introduces new weapons - the MK VI Revolver, Coach Gun, STA 22, Lighting Carbine, RSC M17, and the new Persuader and Golden Gewehr 98 legendary weapons - plus 25 new missions, including new Gangster personal missions, side-quests, and events.
Empire of Sin's Make it Count expansion will cost £11.39 when it launches for Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC on 18th November, and will be accompanied by the free Precinct update - promising some major shakeups for the base game, all revolving around the new ability to divide neighbourhoods up into multiple large-area precincts.
As Romero Games explained earlier this year, the goal with Precinct is to streamline the core experience, reducing the overabundance of information players previously needed to juggle once their empires reached a certain size. Now, with management focussed on precincts (which have their own upgrades and improvements) rather than individual buildings, it's possible to do things like upgrade several rackets at once using global changes.
New Depot buildings lie at the heart of precincts and link a player's financial empire together, acting as the source of supplies for their rackets and the place where their money comes back to. Gaining control of a Depot gives players control of a precinct, but they'll also need to secure Supply Lines in order to keep supplies and payments flowing smoothly between precincts.
The free update also includes two new win conditions in the form of the Chi-Town Mogul and (diplomacy focussed) Buyout paths to victory, plus improvements to police and law enforcement, based around a new precinct-wide value known as the Police Activity number - affected by various factors including bribery, diplomatic relations, and vice investment levels.
Finally, there are new Depot and Safehouse interiors, plus Gun Store, Mob Lawyer, and Boxing Club improvement buildings, all of which arrives on 18th November alongside Make It Count.
Empire of Sin is published by Paradox Interactive which was accused of fostering a culture of bullying and gender discrimination in September after a union-led employee survey revealed almost half of the 133 participating staff had experienced "mistreatment", with the issues said to be "worst for women". Further damning allegations aimed at the studio surfaced last month, when Swedish daily newspaper Svenska Dagbladet detailed a "culture of silence" within the company - a sentiment shared by Paradox employees Eurogamer had spoken to.
In response to that report, Paradox said it had now hired an external and independent auditor to investigate its company culture, beginning with its employees based in Sweden.