Total War: Pharaoh never looked like it was going to have much of an impact, however things are going worse than anyone could've predicted. At the time of writing, there are more current players for the controversial Total War: Rome II than Total War: Pharaoh, despite the latter title only releasing yesterday.
This fact is made all the more surprising with the knowledge that Total War: Rome II is now over 10 years old. Total War: Pharaoh's release has been met with little enthusiasm, and this news will do little good for the game’s already challenging start.
One of the major reasons behind Total War: Pharaoh's dismal player numbers likely comes from its slim content, especially after the gigantic Total War Warhammer 3. Costing £49.99, many have clearly judged Pharaoh's price to be extortionate for the amount of content shipped with the game.
With only 8 playable factions, and a campaign map that's much smaller than usual, fans have likened Total War: Pharaoh to be more similar in nature to the recent smaller "Saga", such as Troy and Thrones of Brittannia. The Saga games are smaller, mini-entries into the Total War series, with their smaller size justifying a more modest price tag. However, Total War: Pharaoh sports a price tag similar to that of Warhammer 3 or Three Kingdoms, driving many potential players away from the game.
While Total War: Rome II having a higher player count than Pharaoh will raise concerns, the more imminent issue for Creative Assembly comes in the low all-time peak player count of only 5,424. This suggests an incredibly low quantity of sales for the game; even Thrones of Britannia managed over 22,000 players on launch day. All of this information is considerably worse, given that the game has so far only released on Steam.
With all of this in mind, Total War: Pharaoh will doubtlessly represent a huge failure for Creative Assembly across the board. Additionally, following the news of SEGA's Hyenas cancellation, concerns are mounting over the future status of Creative Assembly's Sofia studio, as SEGA looks to cut their costs.