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Total War: Rome 2 gets review bombed over female generals

By midian182 · 23 replies
Sep 25, 2018
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  1. With over 21,000 Steam reviews since its September 2013 launch, Total War: Rome 2 has a ‘mostly positive’ rating on the platform, but only 19 percent of the 1000+ reviews over the last 90 days have been positive, leaving its recent rating as ‘overwhelmingly negative.’

    Most of the newer complaints are directed toward the recent Ancestral update, which players claim increased the chances of women generals appearing in the game, even though there is no mention of this in the patch notes.

    A screenshot (top) from a Steam user showing five out of eight "Available Generals" as women brought the debate into the spotlight. It led to the same arguments over historical accuracy that followed EA’s decision to put a woman on the front cover of Battlefield 5.

    On Steam’s Community forums, community content editor Ella McConnell responded to the situation back in August by explaining that "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. People saying they won't buy the game because there are too many women in it is fine with us - if that's their reason, we'd rather they didn't anyway."

    Unsurprisingly, the comment didn’t go down well with a lot of players. In a follow-up comment, McConnell wrote: "I'm not HR, nor is it my job to push a 'personal agenda' - I convey the views of the company, which is where the statement regarding historical authenticity vs. historical accuracy (and the inclusion of women) originates."

    In a statement, Total War devs Creative Assembly said there is only a 10 to 15 percent chance of female characters appearing as recruitable generals for some of the playable factions. The exceptions being the Greek States, Rome, Carthage and some Eastern factions, which have a zero percent chance, and Kush, which has a 50 percent chance. The company added that there have been no changes to recruitable female general spawn rates.

    Several games have been hit with review bombings over the last few years, including PUBG, Firewatch, and GTA V. Valve has tried to address the problem by introducing histograms that show the positive to negative ratio of reviews over the entire lifetime of a title.

    Permalink to story.

  2. "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. People saying they won't buy the game because there are too many women in it is fine with us - if that's their reason, we'd rather they didn't anyway."

    Authentic -- worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact.

    Semantics aside, they will be the first to cry foul when people actually do as instructed and don't purchase the game. Get woke, go broke, as they say. And that response certainly sounds more to the woke side of things.
    avioza, Thayios, MaXtor and 4 others like this.
  3. fps4ever

    fps4ever TS Guru Posts: 286   +268

    Mighty brave of them to take a stand like this over a 5 year old game. Another example of coddling to social justice warriors and or opening their mouths when it was better to just keep it shut.
  4. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,094   +1,545

    After the Battlefield 5 fiasco, you'd think these companies who release games based on historical events would get it, and quit trying to be politically correct or alienating the bulk of the players in an effort to encourage a very small minority of players to buy the game.

    To me, "historically authentic," and "historically accurate" are one and the same.

    I don't mind female characters in Civilization IV or V. Those are historically accurate characters. But I don't want to see female generals (which never happened), leading my Roman Legions or making frontal assaults against WWII Tiger Tanks in the Battle of Kursk (which also never happened).
  5. Social justice works like cancer. It spreads until the host dies or the afflicted cells are excised, whichever comes first.
  6. Capaill

    Capaill TS Evangelist Posts: 829   +439

    Why can't they have an option to have a historically accurate number of women or an increased number of women? Satisfy both groups. It's probably only a few lines of code and an extra option toggle under Settings. While I cannot speak for them, I am guessing there are some female players that would like the option to play as a woman, whether it's historically accurate or not.
    ForgottenLegion likes this.
  7. Can't cater to every possible market. Not only does that needlessly complicate the game, it diminishes the final product for each target group because time spent catering to X is time not spent catering to Y. It also further muddies the final product when third and fourth groups who also represent a tiny percentage of the player base start complaining that you catered to the feminists but not the disabled.

    People don't care if a game has women in it.

    People don't care if a game has "minorities" in it.

    People do care if a game has women and minorities as part of political pandering.

    That's the problem, and no amount of doubling down on pandering is going to fix it.
  8. Polycount

    Polycount TS Evangelist Posts: 1,641   +371

    I'm not going to comment on the politics surrounding this issue, but I will say I think that community manager's response was a bit lacking. I understand this is a very emotionally-charged topic, of course, but it may have been best to take a step back, wait for the heat to die down, and then issue a public response.
    Nobina likes this.
  9. Xclusiveitalian

    Xclusiveitalian TS Evangelist Posts: 782   +163

    The craziest part I find about companies that do this is they are catering to people who do NOT buy their games, or any games for that matter. You lose your fan base when they realize you are forcing your political beliefs down their throat and the ones you appease are happy and move to the next game to ruin.
  10. pit1209

    pit1209 TS Enthusiast Posts: 35   +36

    It really concerns me the general view on this site about this situation, based on the majority of comments. I don't understand how a game that has the options to see Generals as female or male has anything to do with political views, they have even declared that based on the country you are using you will have a different rate of females showing and in the majority the difference is less than males. I mean I don't really care if my character is male or female, this is a videogame, it cannot and won't be historically accurate, not even if it's a simulator. People needs to grow up and stop giving gamers this bad reputation of misogynists and socially retarded that the majority have.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
    TempleOrion and Bubbajim like this.
  11. pit1209

    pit1209 TS Enthusiast Posts: 35   +36

    For you "historically authentic," and "historically accurate" are one and the same. Objectively speaking those terms are different and that let us see how inaccurate is your vision of these things, BFV is a video game not a simulator nor it has to be, the fact that this so call grown men are offended because now on his new game there are going to be options so if anyone that chooses to be female can do it, it's just baffles me and ascertain the fact that people keep telling how video games is for children even though I think it is not but I cannot discussed it when people are crying out loud for this kind of nonsense like it is hurting their pride. I for sure want more women as gamers, I for sure like women, don't know about the rest and that's fine to me.
    TempleOrion likes this.
  12. Lounds

    Lounds TS Addict Posts: 166   +103

    This Neo liberal PC agenda is just getting toxic and is going to white wash history from existence. It's like the whole statue's who had slaves... All rich people had slaves way back when. It doesn't make it right but it was socially acceptable at the time and we shouldn't take that away and look back and learn from history not change it.

    I'm not sure about Women generals from the Roman era, all I can think of is Boudica but randomly adding female general's to please younger audience's who may or may not get offended is just dumb. The games are based on historical war battles why change the history?
  13. Misagt

    Misagt TS Maniac Posts: 273   +189

    First off how many female generals can you name? That's what I thought. Personally if they want to add this feature it doesn't really bother me if you have it in setting to turn it off or on. It's a preference thing. But to force historical fans to have to play this is frankly stupid.
    Khanonate likes this.
  14. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 522   +398

    Female generals doesn't seem to be terribly historically accurate. If you're into inclusive options, how about this in the game settings:

    [ ] add female generals
  15. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,094   +1,545

    Do yourself a favor and go look the words up in a Thesaurus. Here, I'll do it for you - you look up accurate, and you get authentic and vice versa.

    And I'll thank you to not put words in my mouth. I'm not "offended" by female characters in traditional historical roles or any computer game for that matter. I would just prefer not playing them because they're not historically accurate. If they a selection option to pick one, fine. Those that want to play non-historically accurate females are free to do so. But if you're forced to play them as part of the game UI, then I'm not going to be happy about that and it will definitely discourage me from purchasing the game.

    We all clear on that now?
  16. Athlestone

    Athlestone TS Rookie

    Female generals are entirely disabled for the Romans, Greeks and most eastern factions. The spawn rate is 50% for Kush, and between 10-15 for some other factions. I'd say that's reasonably low, and could work. The screenshot provided is probably just a guy killing off all of his male generals until only women remain in the pool...
    TempleOrion likes this.
  17. Bubbajim

    Bubbajim TechSpot Staff Posts: 638   +614

    From the article:

    Plus, to your other point, accurate and authentic have very similar meanings but are distinct words. Authentic in this sense is conveying a sense of the truth, whereas accurate is being correct in every detail. Across different cultures, women had different positions in society. It seem that the developers here recognise that, seeing as they don't push women into armies that they weren't in (read above).

    Once again we seem to have a thread on the topic of women and some people have lost their minds.

    I fear I might be walking into a trap here, but out of curiosity, without searching online, how many male generals can you name?
    TempleOrion and Capaill like this.
  18. DubiousFishHook

    DubiousFishHook TS Rookie Posts: 20

    CA is stupid 2 times then, ok. (3 if you count the friggin family tree crap) I have 600 games on Steam this is the one I have played the most, if there were femals generals back then besides Boudica I'd be all for this update since im heterosexual.
  19. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,843   +1,351

    Thread title is misleading. People are upset over the tweet of that editor not because of wahmen, update that brought that in was released months ago and nobody complained. So maybe you shouldn't copy paste other biased articles.
  20. Misagt

    Misagt TS Maniac Posts: 273   +189

    George Patton, George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Winston Churchill, Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, Alexander the great, Marc Anthony,

    These are just the ones I can think of at the top of my head. I can think of many more battles and the leaders just can't quite remember their full names off the top of my hand.
  21. avioza

    avioza TS Addict Posts: 199   +149

    Without googling... there were no rules stated so I am assuming the General may also hold a title of King or Emperor.

    Bellisaurius, Chlodovech I, Chilperich I, Charles the Great, Charles Martell, Henry I, Richard III, Zangid, Nur alDin, Saladin, Odoacer, Tancred, John French, Petain, Joffre, Conrad von Hotzendorf, Mustaffa Kemal, Erich VonFalkenhein, Chrosroes III, King Alric, Theodoric, Widges the Ostrogoth, Dwight Eisenhower, Paul Hindenburg, Baldwin I of Jerusalem, Emperor Sigmund

    Could get a bunch more if I spent some time thinking but that's off the top of my head....
  22. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 714   +270

    This is just the continual subset of the argument "women ruin everything". It's comical, barring any major changes, this is the only place you're going to find women generals. Although, in countries like Israel, it's entirely possible. Actually, there is at least one woman general in the U.S. A Surgeon General I think. But again, it's still not a combat role. It's not the inclusion of women that's the issue. It's women that think they can come into male space and change male behavior. Leave your sensitivities at the door., dear.
  23. Lew Zealand

    Lew Zealand TS Guru Posts: 522   +398

    How many women do what you're describing? As a percentage. 0.001%? I may not have used enough zeroes there. Are you condescending in your following statement because you're threatened by that?
  24. Misagt

    Misagt TS Maniac Posts: 273   +189

    I think you might be right in some cases but I think it has far more to do with people who have spent hundreds perhaps into the thousands of dollars on CA games and merchandise. Many people have always viewed Total war games as the pinnacle of historical based gaming. So to be pissed that women who in fact hardly ever went into combat. Now I'm not saying there hasn't been Strong female leaders as we have lots of cases from Catherine the Great, to Queen Victoria. What we don't have is many female generals. This is where the heart of the concern lays. What the concern from players this simply isn't accurate. Then the response from CA was FU don't play our games. This is a horrible response and this allow with the censoring of players on forums and on steam is what has enraged the community. It has very little to do with female generals as mostly to do with the response of CA. Like I said before if you want them in the game that's great but do to it being a huge change from history it should of been an option turned off or on in the settings. Not forcing people to play in an inaccurate form.

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