Total War Warhammer 3 DLC faces backlash over high asking price

New Total War Warhammer 3 DLC Shadows of Change adds three new lords, but fans, creators, and even Warhammer veterans are critical of its high price point.

Total War Warhammer 3 DLC price controversy - a woman in a red hat and fur coat gives a manic, cold-eyed stare.

Total War Warhammer 3 DLC Shadows of Change is causing a rift among the game’s community, with many players, YouTubers, and even a former Warhammer producer at Games Workshop offering their thoughts on the expansion’s price point. The DLC brings three new lords to the vast strategy game and its epic Immortal Empires campaign mode, but the Total War Warhammer 3 update is proving too pricey for many.

Total War Warhammer 3 Shadows of Change releases August 31, 2023 and is priced at $24.99 / £19.99, although it is on sale for 10% off until September 7 as a launch promotion. That puts it at around 40% of the price of the base game. It does match the cost of the recent Chaos Dwarfs DLC but, as our Total War Warhammer 3 Chaos Dwarfs review notes, that package introduces an entirely new race and is substantially more robust in its offering.

By comparison, past packs have included Champions of Chaos, which adds four playable lords and is priced at $15.99 / £12.99. In the previous two games in the series, lords packs typically included a pair of paid lords (priced at $8.99 / £6.99 for the first game, and $9.99 / £7.99 for the second), with a third lord made available as free downloadable content alongside each of the major releases.

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This pricing change has caused an eruption on the game’s Discord and Reddit. Several of the most upvoted threads this week address the topic directly, while others make jokes about the situation. One commenter discusses the above point that the Total War Warhammer 2 packs did include three lords, albeit one as a free inclusion, remarking, “All you are getting additionally over what you got in WH2 is a few more units. Does not justify the price increase.”

Another user simply states, “I have no problem buying a 30$ [sic] DLC if it offers 30$ worth of content. The content in this DLC can’t be priced more than $15.99 at max.” While discussions of value are always tough to have, it’s certainly easy to see why players would balk at how dramatically the price has appeared to climb for this latest bundle, without much clear explanation why.

Prominent Total War Warhammer 3 YouTuber ‘Loremaster of Sotek’ joins the discussion, simply tweeting, “What in God’s name is that Shadows of Change price.” As one of the community’s most prominent figures with over 70,000 subscribers on his Warhammer Fantasy channel, they’re quick to express in a video that he’s “a bit worried about the extreme price for the DLC, not to mention a few things that I think are rather lacking.”

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Another big Total War YouTube creator who simply goes by ‘milkandcookestw’ offers their own input. “What we’re talking about right now is a 150% price increase for maybe a 30-50% increase in content compared to previous lord packs,“ they say in a video covering the controversy, adding that this could even be considered a generous estimation. They remark, “In the context of previous launches, I feel the value proposition for the price just isn’t there.”

They also note that, upon initially learning of the price point, they sent the following message to developer Creative Assembly: “I’m not attuned to CA’s cost of production or supply chain, but I can damn sure look at a DLC and say, ‘Hmm, that price doesn’t really seem to match up with the content on display.’ And in this case I really don’t think $25 is justifiable for Shadows of Change, fun though it may be.”

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The price point is proving tough to swallow even for those with close ties to the franchise. Andy Law, former designer and producer on the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay tabletop RPG, took an hour to discuss his thoughts on the DLC on a YouTube livestream. Along with his work on the core rulesets, Law also created the hags for WFRP 2nd edition, so he takes particular interest in Mother Ostankya’s arrival.

Law is largely very complimentary about the Total War implementation of the hags of Kislev – delighting in the inclusion of Mother Ostankya’s “bespoke melee component,” as well as her use of ingredients to draw power from spirits that can be used for boons or curses. However, when it comes to the add-on’s price point, he stops himself short.

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“I’m not about to give my opinions about the price of the DLC, because I’m about to pick it up myself and I’m already bl**dy cringing,” he remarks. “I had a good look through what you get for the money and, while I like every single last bit of what it’s adding, I can’t say I like the price it was asking me to pay for it.”

It seems, then, that the Total War Warhammer 3 community is largely in sync on this issue. Most players don’t seem to be unhappy with the content on offer – indeed, seeing Grand Cathay and Tzeentch getting some more love has me very excited, and I’m particularly curious to try out the Changeling’s shapeshifting skills. However, it remains to be seen whether players will be willing to fork out for Creative Assembly’s newfound asking price.

Get up to speed on all the Total War Warhammer 3 races if you’ve been out of the game for a while, and have a look through our pick of the best Total War Warhammer 3 DLC if you fancy opting for one of the past add-ons instead.