Total War: Arena early access coming free to all Rome 2 owners

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Total War: Arena is a hard sell. Creative Assembly have built a multiplayer RTS-cum-MOBA – team-based, fast-paced and free to play. Total War, on the whole, is none of those things.

Which is probably why the developers have decided to do something quite clever: initially, they won’t be selling Arena at all. Instead, they’ll be handing beta keys for free to every single person who buys Total War: Rome 2.

It’s clear that Arena won’t be playable by Rome 2’s release date on September 2 – but Creative Assembly promise that owners will get “privileged access” to the in-development experiment as soon as it becomes available.

Rome 2 players will gain “advanced” beta access – we’ll learn the meaning of that at a later date – as well as exclusive bonuses in the game’s Legion Armoury and around $15 of in-game currency.

Total War: Rome 2 is available both to pre-order on the Sega store or pre-purchase on Steam for £29.99. Either purchase will bag you a place in the Arena. Alternatively, you can sign up for a chance of closed beta access on the official site.

When our Rob sat down with CA to talk Total War: Arena at GDC, the first thing he said was: “I don’t really get how Total War: Arena is going to work”. Are you any better off?