At this year’s EGX conference in Birmingham, Marcel Hatam (international brand manager for the Anno franchise) and Bastian Thun (Community Developer) was there to present the talk.
Giving a brief overview of some of the eras Anno has depicted as a city-building game. From the Crusades to the far-flung future of 2205, and now the with Anno 1800, the 1800’s; better known as the industrial revolution.
The New Anno in the City
After going over the basics of the franchise’s game mechanics, they began discussing the goal of Anno 1800. One could argue the same goal of every Anno game is to progress from rags, on a new untouched island, to riches of your own bustling metropolis, through the depicted era, in this case, the industrial revolution. A major turning point in world history, and the origin of many Steampunk stories. You have to keep its people happy throughout the game with resource management, technology upgrades, housing improvements, and eventually spreading out to other islands, while also juggling the economy of your city or cities. You will also be performing diplomacy with neighbours, or sending out your Navy to fight others that belong to hostile opponents.
Anno 1800 features three game modes, first “a customizable sandbox”, as it says on the tin, it’s the sandbox mode of the game, which you can customize based on your preference that day. Whether it’s a lazy afternoon, with lots of resources, and casual AI opponents that will trade with you, so you can build away. Or a challenge with few resources, with lots of aggressive opponents, and lots of aggressive pirates that constantly attack you.
A Story Campaign in a City Builder?
The next mode of the game is the story-driven campaign, a staple of the series. Details haven’t been released, and won’t be for a while longer according to Marcel. But “It is firmly rooted in the tradition of 19th-century adventure stories. So there is probably going to be some conspiracies. There’s some travel around the world, and yes, there may be some secret societies, or brotherhoods.”- Marcel Hatam. And the final mode of the game is the classic Anno multiplayer experience, that is everything that is the sandbox mode, but you can also bring along your friends and family.
Why the 19th Century?
“As I mentioned earlier, Anno has quite the history, it’s been 20 years. There have been six games and as a set, we’ve covered a lot of human history. The Crusades, The Renaissance. So why did we pick the 19th century now? Especially since our last two games were sci-fi games, and there are two big reasons for that. It’s what the community wants.
Whenever we ship an Anno game afterwards, we ask players what setting would you like to see explored in the future, and for the past ten years, constantly one of the top three choices has always been the age of the industrial revolution.
I think the community’s absolutely right, because, if you think about everything I just mentioned, you know that gameplay mix that Anno has. You know building something up, technological advancements, Trades, Diplomacy, Warfare. There’s a lot of that happening throughout 19th-century history, and of course that gives us as developers a lot to inspire us and work with.”- Marcel Hatam
So when is Anno 1800 coming?
Anno 1800 will be released globally on PC 26th February, 2019, as revealed at Gamescom, last month.