I met Creative Assembly’s James Russell and Gabor Beressy on the last day of GDC at a convention center cafe underneath Moscone North. Both men had the worn look I’d seen on most media and developers that day, the toll of five days of meetings, sessions, and interviews. After a weary greeting, the three of us slumped at a table for our last interview of GDC, while all around us workers were tearing down exhibits and overeager security guards started shooing loiterers toward the exits.
Russell is the lead designer for the Total War series, while Beressy is the series’ lead multiplayer designer and the point man on Total War: Arena. Worried we were about to be thrown out by security, I got right to the point: “So the problem I’m having is: I don’t really get how Total War: Arena is going to work."
They nodded. That’s the problem they’re facing. It’s not easy to explain how the Total War formula can be adapted to a MOBA, and anxious Total War fans are reading their own worries into the news about Arena. Russell and Beressy wanted to set things straight.