The Creative Assembly has faced some backlash in recent days over its latest downloadable content for Total War: Rome 2. The Camel Cataphracts and Mercenary Naked Swords units found in the "Beasts of War" and "Caesar in Gaul" DLC, respectively, were both seen in videos of the game prior to release. This has led to accusations that the content was intentionally withheld.
For their part, Creative Assembly says that while the names were the same, the units themselves have undergone significant revisions during the DLC development.
"It's certainly correct to point out that units called Camel Cataphracts and Merc Naked Swords were used in a Let's Play walkthrough before launch," brand director Rob Bartholomew told Eurogamer. "The naming is unfortunate, but these aren't the same units that were then released subsequently as DLC... The DLC we're looking at here are essentially a different version following increased design, artwork and balancing to match the quality of the other units available. The final selection of units supplied in the game were extensive and we felt they represented excellent value."
He said for DLC, it's common for the studio to take another look at units that were well-liked but didn't make the cut. "These were some of the prime contenders," he noted.
All that said, Bartholomew was apologetic, saying that the marketing team should have checked whether the units were likely to be finished for the final game. "Obviously we don't want to feature content that won't be in the game intentionally, especially when it would otherwise be pointless, as in this case where there was a huge variety of other great units to show off," he said. "That's our basic human error and I apologize for letting that through." He also said that the team has put checks in place to prevent these mistakes in the future.