Strategy Games News Bulletin - January 3rd, 202003 Jan 2020 0
Welcome back everyone! Let’s get 2020 started, shall we? Since this is only the second working day back since New Year not a lot has actually happened, but there’s enough odds and sods from the past couple of weeks to fill out a news update.
We’ve got a lot planned for this month alone - plenty of Total War content down coming down the pipe, as well as a deep-dive into Imperator: Rome 1.3 and plenty of reviews as well.
Meanwhile, in strategy games...
Astra Exodus Release Date
We’ve not talked much about Astra Exodus since it’s announcement last year, but thankfully that’s no longer a problem because it’ll be out by the end of the month. To re-cap, this is a single-player sci-fi 4X game inspired by Masters of Orion and the other classics that underpin this specific sub-genre.
There’s a rich story mode, as well as a sandbox offering, all of the expected trimmings (ship designer FTW) and very moddable files for the community to have fun with. I will be released via Steam and the Slitherine store on January 23rd, 2020, and if you want to get a feel for it early we’ve shared a Twitch stream they did just before Christmas.
Team 17 Acquires a new strategy developer
A bit of business news for you to break things up a bit - Team17, the company that’s historically known for the Worms franchise but as recently been branching out into other similar genres, have acquired a new studio in the UK.
You may not have heard of Yippee Entertainment, although their current project is something we’ve been keeping an eye on - they are responsible for the Commandos 2 HD remaster project with Kalypso. As far as we know this acquisition isn’t going to effect that project, as the rights are owned by Kalypso, and once they’re done they’ll start working on whatever secret plans the Worms publisher has in store for them. Deets from GamesIndustry.biz.
Steam Awards & Best of 2019
Over the holiday period Valve publisher their own ‘Steam Awards’ as well as a look at the best of games of 2019 divided by categories. As far as the main awards go, strategy games didn’t win anything but were nominated as runner-ups in a few categories, such as:
- Total War: Three Kingdoms for ‘Outstanding Visual Style’
- Slay the Spire for ‘Most Innovative Gameplay’
- Age of Empires 2 for ‘Better with Friends’
Looking at the Best of 2019 page, there are a few categories and they’re set up differently. The ‘Best New Releases’ category lists a ‘top’ section, and then splits it out by individual months as well. Three Kingdoms is one of the top new releases of 2019, but if you look down the list there’s at least one strategy or management game every month.
Top Sellers of 2019 looks at gross revenue regardless of when the game was released, and Three Kingdoms features again in the top tier, joined by Civilization VI. Total War: Warhammer 2 features in the next tier, Gold.
The Most Played 2019 category splits itself into milestones, with over 100,000 simultaneous players being the top category, and 50,000 being the next highest. Total War: Three Kingdoms cleans up again, this time being joined by DOTA Underlords. Civilization VI is the only strategy game in the over 50K tier.
There’s also a ‘Best Early Access’ Graduate category, with Slay the Spire and They are Billions gracing the top spots.
Free Total War: Warhammer Game in January
Creative Assembly gave everyone a nice Christmas present this year just gone - from December 25th, anyone who makes a purchase via Games Workshop’s webstore will be entitled to receive a free copy of Total War: Warhammer. Anyone making a purchase will find a physical card included with their order that’s used to redeem their copy.
This offer will run out at the end of the month, or when the cards run-out - whichever comes first. There’s no minimum spend but the promotion does require you to have a Total War Access account, which you’ll need to connect to your Steam account. Full instructions and further information can be found here. If you do pick up the game for free there's plenty of DLC to look at as well.
Jon Schafer’s At the Gates Version 1.3
It’s good to see Jon’s still alive and kicking and working on his innovative (if under-developed) historical 4X strategy game At the Gates. He’s finally pushed out a new update that improves how the AI behaves in the game, as well as some difficulty modifiers. Bandits are also more aggressive. You can read the full patch notes here.
That’s all we’ve got for you today - if you see anything else you think deserves a shout out, let us know!