Total War: Rome II Developers Issue Statement on Criticisms of Female Generals Feature

cageymaru

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As the "review bombing" of the strategy game Total War: Rome II continues on Steam, Creative Assembly has issued a statement meant to address criticisms of the game's portrayal of female generals and their historical relevancy. First they addressed the accusations that they increased the spawn rate of females available for recruitment in the game by stating, "There have been no changes to recruitable female general spawn rates, but with the addition of the family tree and the new gameplay options it brings, playable factions may gain more female family members via marriage. If a player has their male family members seek a wife and get married, more females enter the family. This means more female characters may appear as recruitable generals, but again, only in those factions where female characters may be recruited as generals." The developers go on to explain the spawn rate and which factions may have female generals based on their cultural differences.

These percentage chances are moddable by players. We've not seen a verifiable bug where this is shown to be different or not working as intended. We have no plans to patch this out or remove this feature from the game.
 

DeathFromBelow

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From the statement:
Female characters appear throughout the game, but have between a 10% and 15% chance of appearing as recruitable generals for some of the player factions. The exceptions are the Greek States, Rome, Carthage, and some Eastern factions, which have a 0% chance, and Kush, which has a 50% chance. This is to broadly represent the cultural differences in those factions during the time the game is set.

I had a feeling this was another alt-SJW troll campaign. Some people need to get a life...
 

M76

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From the statement:


I had a feeling this was another alt-SJW troll campaign. Some people need to get a life...
WTF is alt-SJW? If it is what I think it is, then that's just sad and pathetic, and shows the lack of imagination involved in coining that phrase.
 
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well if they add a settings page where you can set the spawn rate yourself that should make most people happy, I would hope.
 

PantherBlitz

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Seems logical to me. Rome and Greece would never have women generals but other cultures did on rare occasions.

That said, I'm not gonna apply insta-hate to those that object.
 

silentsod

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I'm glad they went through the statistics and logic behind what they're doing.

The flipside of the coin is they had a PR disaster where one of their reps told people not to buy their game if they didn't like it instead of calmly explaining what was actually occurring at the outset.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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I accidentally read that as "female genitals" over and over again... :eek:

There have been some high profile female generals in pre-20th century history, (Boudica of the Celts, and Joan of Arc come to mind) but they were certainly a minority.

I don't have a bone in this fight. While in general I prefer historical accuracy in games, I've never played this series.
 
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Siersoren

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WTF is alt-SJW? If it is what I think it is, then that's just sad and pathetic, and shows the lack of imagination involved in coining that phrase.

Because SJWs are typically angry for the sake of being angry, regardless of whether or not logic is brought into it.

In fact, logic traditionally makes them further enraged.

Then you call them out on it, then they lose their minds.

So yes - They are the ideal target for a troll.
 

B00nie

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Hahaha! What is wrong with the game makers today? Perhaps it's that male testosterone levels are at all time low. They're losing their balls.
 
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well if they add a settings page where you can set the spawn rate yourself that should make most people happy, I would hope.

yes, that would have been totally fine.... even if it had just been presented in a more reasonable light beyond that of "if you dont like it, dont play it and dont buy it... in fact, we'd be happier that you didnt" then it would have been fine.
you want to alter history in a game? whatever... its your product and everyone will choose with their wallet anyway. but when you do, and then you get called on it, dont come off like your customers who have and/or will put money up to buy your product are suddenly scum for having an opinion on the matter (regardless of how wrong OR right they might be). and then to try to play word games to justify it like they did with their initial response? just not feelin it man... just not feelin it.
 

damicatz

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Just another bullshit alt-right conspiracy theory being pushed by neo-nazis and russian bots. Are you all so insecure in your own masculinity that a video game character being female triggers you?
 

Darunion

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Just another bullshit alt-right conspiracy theory being pushed by neo-nazis and russian bots. Are you all so insecure in your own masculinity that a video game character being female triggers you?

But but, if I play a female character it will make me catch a case of teh-gays.

I can picture the masculinity already as they sit there playing their games. I know I am not at my sexiest at my pc lol.
 

nysmo

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Someone needs to make a truly historically accurate representation of commanding ancient war. You just sit there on a throne barking orders to a few people while getting BJ's from hand maidens and eating grapes.
 

Timobkg

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I love how this whole outrage was over either random chance or people purposefully modding their games to create outrage. Clearly the RNG was trying to make a political statement.

I wonder if the bulk of it could have been avoided had they released the actual rates sooner, rather than make antagonizing statements?
 

cyclone3d

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Someone needs to make a truly historically accurate representation of commanding ancient war. You just sit there on a throne barking orders to a few people while getting BJ's from hand maidens and eating grapes.

HAHAHAHAHA.

That being said, I feel like I should buy this game to further enrage the idiots that are feigning outrage over nothing.
 

Ranulfo

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Just another bullshit alt-right conspiracy theory being pushed by neo-nazis and russian bots. Are you all so insecure in your own masculinity that a video game character being female triggers you?

Hah, the good old insecurity argument, such a cliche. Most female mmo players I know play exclusively female characters/avatars. In the past 5-10 years that this issue has grown into a supposedly big deal, its mostly been activist women who usually don't play games beyond phone/tablet stuff complaining that every game under the sun doesn't have a female character option. That or complaints about chain mail bikinis being unrealistic. WoW's transmog system for armor customization destroyed that argument a few years ago. Women seem to be the ones who have a hard time being secure in their own femininity to play a male character. "Oh, I'm excited now for COD-WW2/Battlefield V because I can play a girl!" is apparently not sexist.

You know, why don't we have a choice between Lara or Lawrence Croft. Why not a booby/dong slider for every game too? I want more realistic male representation in movies/books like Twlight or 50 Shades of Grey. Less sparkly vampires and more Yippee-Kai-yay explosions.
 

Rizen

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Hah, the good old insecurity argument, such a cliche. Most female mmo players I know play exclusively female characters/avatars. In the past 5-10 years that this issue has grown into a supposedly big deal, its mostly been activist women who usually don't play games beyond phone/tablet stuff complaining that every game under the sun doesn't have a female character option. That or complaints about chain mail bikinis being unrealistic. WoW's transmog system for armor customization destroyed that argument a few years ago. Women seem to be the ones who have a hard time being secure in their own femininity to play a male character. "Oh, I'm excited now for COD-WW2/Battlefield V because I can play a girl!" is apparently not sexist.

You know, why don't we have a choice between Lara or Lawrence Croft. Why not a booby/dong slider for every game too? I want more realistic male representation in movies/books like Twlight or 50 Shades of Grey. Less sparkly vampires and more Yippee-Kai-yay explosions.
That's not what is going on here. This was a non-issue for months until a literal neo-nazi website wrote an article about it on September 23 and now the developers are being review bombed on Steam by angry basement dwellers because there's a 10% chance that a general in the game might spawn as a woman (and the cultures that legitimately kept women out of those roles, such as Greece and Rome, don't spawn female generals). This was intentionally manipulated to spur controversy.
 

raz-0

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That's not what is going on here. This was a non-issue for months until a literal neo-nazi website wrote an article about it on September 23 and now the developers are being review bombed on Steam by angry basement dwellers because there's a 10% chance that a general in the game might spawn as a woman (and the cultures that legitimately kept women out of those roles, such as Greece and Rome, don't spawn female generals). This was intentionally manipulated to spur controversy.

Seems to me as one of the vast population unaware that anyone owned this game and thus could care less, that the publisher shot themselves in the foot the moment they decided to get all fuck you to their customer base. Granted not as badly as some outlets, but it's CS, you say it professionally and with a smile even if what you are really saying is good bye, we are firing you as a customer. If you DON'T want to say that, you do it even more professionally.

I'm starting to think that companies need to tell anyone invovled on a social platform, even forums to shut the fuck up unless they are a designated rep to speak for the company officially. Then for the official folks they need to take them about as seriously as they'd take someone they send to do a press conference in front of a dozen cameras and mics.
 
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Just another bullshit alt-right conspiracy theory being pushed by neo-nazis and russian bots. Are you all so insecure in your own masculinity that a video game character being female triggers you?
Yes, because nazis and russian bots give a damn about the gender of generals in a 4 year old game. GTFO of here.

Take your nazi shit elsewhere if you can't even try to comprehend the situation. They did something that in some specific cases could be considered historically inaccurate in a game that sells it's historical accuracy. Then instead of explaining it away, they told everyone to fuck off if they didn't buy into their social justice changes (There's literally no reason to visit this feature/game this late unless you're trying to further the cause of social justice).

That's going to piss a lot of people off. And if random neo-nazis also show their displeasure, that doesn't mean you get to call me a nazi by association, you ignorant piece of shit.
 

RanceJustice

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It seems like many complaining are making a mountain out of a molehill in this particular case. The way the earlier "Don't like it, don't play" statement from CA and subsequent discussion sounded, they either suddenly added female generals where there were none before and players would turn off a game with a male general only to reload it after the update and find a female with the exact same name etc. If this was the case I think there would certainly be some justifiable concern and a respectful discussion to be had.

However, when they took the time to make this statement and explain that female generals have always been part of the game since the inclusion of certain mechanics (ie marriage/family tree), that they may increase in frequency due to the expansion of certain game features, and would be limited to societies in which there was some historical justification for female generals... I can't see any reason to be upset. If anything, it seems like CA threw a match on gasoline by their original statement, but in the same way those who are still charging forward with boycotts or opposition seem to be more aligned with the Stormfront side pushing a narrative and not the reality of what's going on.

I've not played this particular Total War title (my experience is Shogun 2 and the Warhammer series), but it seems like CA has properly responded explaining the situation in what seems to be a reasonable way, so I don't see any need for objection at this point?
 

filip

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It seems like many complaining are making a mountain out of a molehill in this particular case. The way the earlier "Don't like it, don't play" statement from CA and subsequent discussion sounded, they either suddenly added female generals where there were none before and players would turn off a game with a male general only to reload it after the update and find a female with the exact same name etc. If this was the case I think there would certainly be some justifiable concern and a respectful discussion to be had.

However, when they took the time to make this statement and explain that female generals have always been part of the game since the inclusion of certain mechanics (ie marriage/family tree), that they may increase in frequency due to the expansion of certain game features, and would be limited to societies in which there was some historical justification for female generals... I can't see any reason to be upset. If anything, it seems like CA threw a match on gasoline by their original statement, but in the same way those who are still charging forward with boycotts or opposition seem to be more aligned with the Stormfront side pushing a narrative and not the reality of what's going on.

I've not played this particular Total War title (my experience is Shogun 2 and the Warhammer series), but it seems like CA has properly responded explaining the situation in what seems to be a reasonable way, so I don't see any need for objection at this point?
While you make a good point. They can't just yell at people to stfu and tell them to not play the game, and then later say "these are the reasons" we said that. There was no reason to say what the developer had to say, you just don't do business like that, even if your client is wrong.
 
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Here's a good review from steam in response to the controversy.
I feel that with the recent controversy that I should write my own review and add my thoughts on the matter. I am a female Total War player. Although I haven't put a ton of hours into the recent Total War games due to real life, I still love the historic aspects in Total War. History and gaming are two of my most favorite things and seeing a historic game brings me joy. That is why it breaks my heart to see the controversy from the devs split the fanbase. I have a theory on the inclusion of female generals, politicians and warriors that were added for two reasons. One of the reasons was for a geniune want for inclusion of females in the historic Total War series by the devs.
Now, I don't mind seeing more females in games but the problem is is that Rome 2 takes place in ancient Mediterranean. I'm sorry to say CA devs and others who are banging the drum of inclusion and representation but history, especially ancientt history, was very patriarchal and poilically incorrect by today's standards. Sure there were some women in the ancient world that were warriors and lead armies but they were very rare. Due to that rarity they're more remembered and romanticized then their male counterparts as it was expected of the men to go to war and die on the front lines.
The other reason I will bring up is more nefarious. Lets face it, female Total War players like me are a very small demographic. We probably only make up a single digit percent in the Total War fanbase and audience. I get the feeling that CA, like EA, wants to get money from another demographic that normally wouldn't play their games. So what do you do? Do you:
A.) Do a soical media campain highlighting female Total War players to peak the interest of female gamers?
B.) Make a DLC centered around a famous female ruler like Boudicca to garner the attention of female gamers?
Or C.) Be lazy and just make half of the generals and politicans in the game females with the belief that female gamers will only play games with females in them?
We all know that CA chose the third option.
Mike Stoklasa of RedLetterMedia fame coined a term that I think is perfect and describes most Western game devs today and that term is "Corporate Diversity". Its when a corporation or company is only diverse and inclusive for the sake of profit while at the same time virtue signal over how diverse they are to garner goodwill from the sychopants in the press. A "have your cake and eat it too" mindset. Female gamers like me had no problem with how Rome 2 was in the past but this constant need to pander to a demographic that normally wouldn't play your game in order to get their money is going to kill many Western game developers. I'm sorry but sometimes a small demographic is just that. A small demographic. Most female gamers are just going to roll their eyes seeing this sad attempt to pander to them in order to get their money and just go back to playing The Sims. While the male gamers, who are the bread and butter of your franchise and made it what it is, are just going to be angry at your attempts at historic revisionism and even more angry at your callous disregard for their complaints.
Now, would I recommend this game? I would. Its still a fun game to play but if you are new to Rome 2 or wanting to get back into it I would highly recommend that you download Oatman's Patriarchy Mod. It gets rid of female generals and politicians in factions that didn't have them in real life and makes the percent of female generals and poilitcans very rare in the factions that did have them in real life.
I just hope that the devs of CA learn a vaulable lesson with this before the release of Three Kingdoms. I would hate to see a game in a franchise I love fail due to ill will and politics.

Update: It seems that there is new info over the female genral controversy. From what I read, the high spawn rate for the female generals wasn't intentional but is high due to bad coding and game design with the ancestor patch. The percent was supposes to be small but CA was lazy and didn't put much thought into the game design with the patch. This not only highlights the poor thought that CA put into the inclusion of female generals and politcians but also hightlights how utterly lazy CA has become and the gall that they have to lash out at their fans and defend their lazy game design instead of admitting that it was due to poor coding and testing. It reminds me of the attitude that Bethesda has with their "Modders will fix it" excuse for poorly implented or unwanted game designs. I was wrong about CA going the way of EA. If anything, they are going the way of Bethesda. In which they are overly reliant on their modding base to be unpaid game designers and fix their messes. I now worry what the final product for Three Kingdoms is going to be if CA was this lazy with the coding and testing for a game that they patched.
 
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I've not played this particular Total War title (my experience is Shogun 2 and the Warhammer series), but it seems like CA has properly responded explaining the situation in what seems to be a reasonable way, so I don't see any need for objection at this point?

That might be the case, but most people have missed all the news before now. They originally released it in a state that they had to patch because of bugs that put way more females in that even they intended. And after that release, had a developer that insulted everyone who disagreed and told them not to buy their game. (Of course, everyone bitching has already long since bought it).

Then, finally, they patched out the bugs and released a statement explaining it, hoping it would erase the bad will they had JUST created a few days earlier.
 

Rizen

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That might be the case, but most people have missed all the news before now. They originally released it in a state that they had to patch because of bugs that put way more females in that even they intended. And after that release, had a developer that insulted everyone who disagreed and told them not to buy their game. (Of course, everyone bitching has already long since bought it).

Then, finally, they patched out the bugs and released a statement explaining it, hoping it would erase the bad will they had JUST created a few days earlier.
This content was rolled out back in March. This only blew up on the internet a few days ago. The developers themselves already stated they've reviewed the code and there isn't a bug; people modded the game to overrepresent women and then used that as evidence to spur controversy.
 

Tsumi

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Well, I guess it was less politically driven than I thought. However, the dev's response was just outright wrong. Did they have their head buried in the sand when the Battlefield controversy was happening? All of this could have been avoided had they been a bit more careful about their words.
 
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what we are beginning to see is the nascent wave of evolutionary push back against the saturation of SJW , PC messaging and criticism which we have been bombarded with for the past 5 years.

From BLM, #metoo, Gamergate, inclusion and diversity rhetoric by political leaders, mass media putting a spin on every story to include a race/gender/religion angle ,

and their ridiculous but mass media and politically supported messaging and protests from anything from the right to use a Starbucks restroom without patronizing the store, to black washing in films, to protest about cheerleaders and grid girls, tearing down of statues and paintings, renaming buildings, SJW decisions on sci-fi books awards.... for games, just take a look at DOA.

the zeitgeist of the rest has finally has coalesced around a central theme of reusing the same tactics of the left and far-left to let everybody whom rode on SJW to have a taste of their own medicine, plus using their much stronger spending power elsewhere. Seemingly the catch phrase of go-woke,go-broke has taken a foothold. Take the blowback from BF for instance. Other games of forced diversity or deliberate blandness of females in design will soon see an up swell of criticism on this .

well, i say about damn time.
 

DeathFromBelow

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Well, I guess it was less politically driven than I thought. However, the dev's response was just outright wrong. Did they have their head buried in the sand when the Battlefield controversy was happening? All of this could have been avoided had they been a bit more careful about their words.

Maybe. The statement you're talking about was cherry picked from a forum thread. The percentages for different factions were explained before then, so I can understand getting upset and telling the alt-sjw trolls to get over it.

People need to get better at recognizing this sort of manufactured outrage. This trolling is going on everywhere and good people are bound to slip up sometimes.
 
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