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Total War: Arena dev hoping to 'take multiplayer to the next level' with free-to-play model

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Total War: Arena, The Creative Assembly's upcoming massively multiplayer online battle arena-inspired game, will be free-to-play model to lower the barrier to entry, gather more players and speed up critical components like matchmaking, Total War series lead designer James Russell told Edge Online.

"Fundamentally, if we want to take multiplayer to the next level, we need a massive user base," Russell said.

Russell revealed the developer's first multiplayer-focused game last week during a GDC panel. Total War: Arena will include 10v10 battles in which each player controls three units.

Players will be able to earn items in the game or purchase them on their own. Russell called the items "accelerators" that players can use to speed up their progression.

"Just to be really clear: our intention is to make the vast majority of content available to everyone for free as long as they earn it," he said. "The focus of monetization is really around enhancing the speed at which you get access."