It’s great that Creative Assembly is giving life to Warhammer Fantasy’s Grand Cathay in Total War: Warhammer III. Cathay is a Chinese-analogue faction that’s only ever had references in older editions of the now-defunct tabletop wargame, and it’s not the only one. Nations such as Ind, Nippon, and Araby are all (fairly obvious) mirrors of real-world cultures that are also known to exist, and little else beyond that.
Even Kislev lacked the same level of support as the major Warhammer Fantasy factions, and Total Warhammer fans have been wondering what else Creative Assembly might be able to pull out of its hat. If the studio can bring Cathay to life, why not another lost nation? Why not Araby?
Araby – a fictional fusion of Middle Eastern and North African cultures – has cropped up before as a faction some fans would like to see brought to life officially, and people were hoping they would appear in Total War: Warhammer II. With Warhammer III now firmly on the horizon (and Cathay’s inclusion expanding the map eastward), fans are wondering if perhaps Creative Assembly has changed its mind. That would be no, in case you were wondering.
This time it was Simone Parenti, another community manager at CA, who broke the bad news:
The comment from Grace Carroll, CA’s lead community and social media manager, is a reference to the first time the company addressed the speculation around Araby. In a developer update published in September 2019, the studio stressed the point: “We do want everyone to bear in mind that there’s a lot of content out there that is unofficial and fan-created.”
As PC Invasion pointed out at the time, this may be in reference to the fact that most of what people associate with Araby may have come from the mind of Mathias Eliasson, a man who created a bunch of unofficial sourcebooks for supported and unsupported factions, Araby included.
Much of the ‘official’ work to flesh out Araby was actually done via Games Workshop’s spin-off Specialist Games division, which made the Warmaster mass-battles game. Regardless, Carroll eventually stepped in directly to state, “As it stands, there are currently no plans to introduce Araby to the Total War: Warhammer series,” which is the same comment referenced by Simone in his recent response on the subject.
Related: Total War: Warhammer 3 release date