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NetEase to publish Creative Assembly's Total War series in China

New partnership covers the whole Total War catalogue, including the China set Three Kingdoms

NetEase has signed a deal with Creative Assembly for the publishing rights to Total War in China.

The long-term partnership covers the series' entire catalogue, up to and including the recent Total War: Three Kingdoms, which drew on Chinese history for its subject matter.

The first game to be launched in China under the new partnership will be Total War : Elysium, a collectable card game for PC and mobile.

"For nearly two decades, the Total War franchise has been a leader in the strategy games genre, thanks to its trademark gameplay and a focus on authenticity," said Tim Heaton, studio director at Creative Assembly, in a statement.

"We are excited to bring the historical titles of the franchise to the Chinese market where we have already seen a huge appetite for Total War."

Total War: Three Kingdoms sold more than one million units in its first week, breaking the series' record for a single game across that period. Three Kingdoms was available on Steam in China, and Creative Assembly chief product officer Rob Bartholomew told us that the region was a driving force in its early sales performance.

"We tend to grow when Steam grows," he said. "But China, in particular, has dramatically moved up through the market share rankings for our titles over the last four or five years. We're now at a point where China is absolutely the most major market for Three Kingdoms."

An official partnership with a major Chinese publisher like NetEase will help to cement Creative Assembly's position in China further.

The UK-based studio, which is owned by Sega, is currently working on nine projects, including a major new IP that it describes as "an unannounced tactical team-based shooter."

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Matthew Handrahan

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Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.