Total War: Warhammer 3 has been review bombed on Steam ahead of release as Chinese players are unhappy with the game's promotion.
Daniel Ahmad, senior analyst at Niko Partners, has explained the reasoning in a Twitter thread, noting that the game has been received positively but that 72 percent of Chinese language reviews are negative.
That's due to the way this new game in the series, released today, has been promoted in China.
The Total War series is incredibly popular in China despite not receiving an official release there. Total War: Three Kingdoms is the fastest selling game in the series thanks in part to Chinese players purchasing the international version.
And with one of the factions of Total War: Warhammer 3 being based on China, anticipation has been high, with strong pre-orders of the international version on Steam by Chinese players.
However, players are upset with how developer Creative Assembly and Chinese game live streaming site DouYu handled promotion.
Despite not having an official release in China, the Total War series is very popular in the country.— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) February 17, 2022
Total War: Three Kingdoms became the fastest selling game in the series thanks to sales in China.
Warhammer III was anticipated due to one of the factions being based on China.
Previously, influencer promotion was targeted to core fans and certain parts of the game were locked out to avoid spoilers. But with Total War: Warhammer 3 a wider array of influencers were used, many of whom were disinterested in the game and spoiled elements of the plot.
Core fans are upset that these influencers received copies of the game in advance and spoiled it, when they themselves had to wait until release.
Creative Assembly has ensured the game appeals to the Chinese market, which has led to high pre-orders. Yet by scuffling promotion in the eyes of core players, the game's launch has been scuppered. It certainly proves the impact the Chinese market can have on Steam reviews.
As Ahmad says in his thread, Creative Assembly has acknowledged the issue. Eurogamer contacted publisher Sega, who declined to comment.
We described the game as "a thrilling, exhausting mosh pit of strategy" in our Total War: Warhammer 3 review.
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