Total War developer Creative Assembly has said that you can't just give "more of the same" each release or expect the franchise to die.
Empire Total War adds naval battles for the first time in the series, "something that we've always wanted to do," and could thanks to "such a big leap forward in terms of tech."
Studio Director Mike Simpson has toldthat Creative Assembly takes innovation very seriously as they don't want Total War fading away any time soon.
"I think that's one of our core principles, to make sure we're doing something new with each release, even if it's just an add-on, or evolutionary step, we still make sure there are new features in there," he said.
"I think that's one of the flaws of the other big RTS franchises is that they stay pretty static - they don't change from game to game, they just give you more of the same. Their popularity tends to decline over time, and eventually they die."
"We're very aware that we don't want to do that, we want to keep going forward and make sure that the game's new and fresh to play. Apart from anything else, it's got to be new and fresh to write - we'd get bored silly making the same game over again," he added.
Empire: Total War follows after releases set in Japan, Medieval Europe twice and the days of the Roman Empire. This is the first time the developer has been confident enough to add full scale real-time naval battles.
"We make games that we want to play, and naval battles is something that we've always wanted to do. We couldn't do it on Shogun or any of the others really, because it's such a big leap forward in terms of tech. But we had the opportunity to do it with Empire."
"I think the thing that stopped us before was that we didn't want to do something half-arsed. If we did naval battles, they've got to be better than anybody else's naval battle - even if that's all they're doing. It all has to stand up, so we put a lot of effort into it and it's all worked out pretty well. It's definitely satisfied our aspirations for Master & Commander-style naval battles."
The Total War franchise is highly acclaimed can boast some of the most realistic battle simulations available in a real-time strategy game. Empire: Total War is being released on PC tomorrow in North America and a day later for Europe.
Do you have your sea legs ready, gamer?