Just when I thought I was out - they pull me back in. Creative Assembly's Total War: Rome 2 is being review-bombed on Steam by fans who are voicing their discontent over what they claim is an unreasonable favouritism of female generals.
I know - it's a five year old game that had no business in the latest male vs. female idiocy that's taken ahold of the industry. However, fans are adamant that the game's updates brought about a historically inaccurate and grossly overblown frequency of female generals appearing in-game.
The discussion dates back as far as March 2018, which over time gained traction. One user posted a screenshot clearly showing five out of eight available generals being women, which isn't quite the ratio that the year 184 BC was notable for. It resulted in a lengthy yet mostly civil discussion that was quite representative of Total War fans - history talk.
Ultimately, most users seemed to agree that Creative Assembly overdid the frequency of female generals, even if many of them were historically relevant for the era. Several seemingly heated exchanges, which were still well within the bounds of civility, caused the admin called CA Ella to lock the thread and going full Soderlund, saying "Total War games are historically authentic, not historically accurate - if having female units upsets you that much you can either mod them out or just not play."
As much as everyone would like to paint this as a gender equality issue, the root of the problem is clearly Creative Assembly's treatment of its players. Total War's legacy was always historical accuracy and pulling out that rug while giving out ultimatums is not something you do to a community that has supported the franchise for more than a decade for that exact reason.
Players' rage over grossly inflated representation of women and the immersion breaking implications thereof slowly grew. Creative Assembly insisted on being defensive, denying this has been the case and coming up with new alternate excuses. Ultimately, they tried to censor players into submission, which opened up the flood gates and paved the way for this oh-so-popular subject.
Make no mistake though - this is not an issue of gender equality, whatever the tone of the latest posts may suggest. Pent up anger over being ignored and even bullied into obedience, solely for insisting on Total War's historical accuracy made many players angry, quite rightfully so.
I'm not pointing fingers here, because the whole issue is far from game-breaking and would be quite silly, had it not been left to fester for so long. However, Creative Assembly should take a good hard look at their own actions, before they lazily point at a sudden outburst of sexism in a community that had none before their patchscapades.