A Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia was announced yesterday, and a follow-up blog published today delves further into the choice of time period. Specifically, lead developer Jack Lusted answers the question ‘Why 878 AD?’
In short, he’s interested in exploring a period after a large invasion force of Vikings has swept across the land. So rather than going with the traditional dates of 793 AD (the first major raid on Lindisfarne) or 865 AD (the ‘Great Heathen Army’), Thrones of Britannia will begin with the Treaty of Wedmore, signed after the Battle of Edington.
It’s a period of relative peace, but one which seems multiple factions within the country preparing to vie for power. The Vikings are now settled in Northumbria, East Anglia, and the eastern half of the old kingdom of Mercia (the ‘Dane Law’ areas), while Alfred the Great has carved out a fragile kingdom for himself. Welsh territories are divided between the sons of Rhodri the Great, the Gaels have overtaken the Picts in Scotland, and Alba is fought over by two branches of the Alpinid dynasty. Ireland, too, is divided, between Gaelic kings and Viking settlers.
As Lusted writes, the future of Britannia was wide open at this juncture in history. Events could easily have taken another path, and the country would have been shaped by different decisions. That point in history is what Thrones of Britannia is aiming to capture, through the traditional Total War game mechanics.
The first fifteen minutes of so of the recent Total War livestream also feature Lusted talking about the upcoming (2018) game. He reiterates some of the points from the blog, but adds a bit more detail if you’re interested in that.