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Manor Lords sold over a million copies in less than a day

manor lords in-game screenshot

A day after its early access launch, Manor Lords has sold over a million copies on Steam and could be one of the biggest new city builder franchises.

Well before its release, Manor Lords became a wishlist favorite, getting tagged by over 3.2 million players. The highly-anticipated medieval city builder drew the attention of 4X players looking for a change of scenery from modern cities and space empires. The game finally launched in early access in April 2024 and became an immediate hit.

In just over a day, it sold over 1 million copies and reached a concurrent player peak of over 170,000. With this much success in early access, regular updates practically guarantee that Manor Lords will have a healthy player base moving forward. Still, the questions remain; what is Manor Lords, and why is it so popular?

What is Manor Lords?

Manor Lords is a medieval strategy game focused on city-building and large-scale tactical battles. It’s developed by Hooded Horse, a veteran studio of base-building games.

As the name implies, the game puts the player in the noble shoes of a medieval lord. They must grow their village into a bustling city, complete with all the logistical and financial planning that entails.

Naturally, successful medieval settlements also attract the wrong kind of crowd. Rival lords may want to muscle into the player’s territory once they get big enough. These scenarios are where the combat comes in. Manor Lords offers tactical battles where players can customize formations to fight back invaders and other unsavory characters.

Is Manor Lords similar to SimCity or Civilization?

Manor Lords has a few similarities with SimCity and Civilization but ultimately differs in execution.

Most 4X games will inevitably feature some of the same aesthetics and gameplay elements. After all, as 4X stands for “Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate,” these themes will always pop up in any beloved 4X title.

Where it splits off from Sim City and Civilization is its blend of real-time tactical RTS elements with in-depth city-building. Both mechanics are prioritized whereas Sim City has no battles while Civilization only has turn-based combat. With the game still in early access, the developer has plenty of time to refine these elements for the final release. 

The arrival of Manor Lords and the upcoming Ara: History Untold, fans of the genre are eating well in 2024.

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Written by Gab Hernandez

Gab Hernandez has a particular love for video games that give players control over the narrative direction, such as Divinity: Original Sin 2 and Disco Elysium. Gab spends just as much time playing games as they do gushing about them online to anyone who will listen. Their work has also been seen on TheGamer, Gfinity, and Wargamer, and you can follow them on Twitter / X at @HardlyWorkinGab.

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