It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything about Ubisoft’s strategy series The Settlers, but not any more: the publisher has confirmed a new installment for release in 2014. Entitled The Settlers: Kingdoms of Anteria, there are few solid details available at present except that it hasn’t strayed from its “world famous building strategy” roots.
Ubisoft are making a big push into free-to-play browser based games, and they're using some classic franchises to do it. They're publishing THREE new games, and we've taken a look at all of them. Check out our previews of Silent Hunter Online, Anno Online and Heroes of Might and Magic Online for the first details.
We sent Dan out to have a chat with Benedikt Grindel, director of live operations at the developer behind all three games, Blue Byte. Grindel suggests that the move is about using the power of a familiar brand to find fresh fans, and argues that the move online doesn't necessarily spell the end for these series' much loved offline iterations.
Of all the things to bring a civilisation to a grinding halt, it’d have to be truffles. My fisheries, oil refineries, pig farms and distilleries operate with total efficiency. My surplus goods are loaded into cargo haulers and sold at a premium to the hippies across the waves. Yet I can grow no further. If I want to expand to the rest of my island home, I need to meet a sudden and unexpected demand for lobster dinners.
Anno 2070 is a real-time management sim that tasks you with creating the biggest and happiest empire you can in a future where resources are scarce as a result of climate change. It’s a shift from the historical foundations of the previous games in the series in favour of something socially-minded and forward-looking.
Free to play browser-based city builder, Settlers Online has sprung into open beta phase. Suck the resources from the land to sustain your palaces, raze forests and raid the oceans to raise ambitious new structures. Then, when nature just can't take it anymore, start a fight and get into some turn based combat with your mates and steal their wood as well. You can sign up and start playing for free on the Settlers Online site now, or check out our Settlers Online preview for an overview.
The influence of the Settlers series looms large on social games, all of today's browser based trading and city building games owe a huge debt to Blue Byte's original games. Which is why it's no surprise that they've decided to launch their own browser based, online version of the classic series, complete with a dynamic player driven economy, where gold is only the currency of choice because market has decided it will be.
If this sounds like your kind of thing, then you'll be wanting of our beta keys so you can get an advanced look at the game, and you're in luck! Because we have a whopping 10,000 keys to give away to your lucky readers.
To get a code, simply go to our competition site and fill in your details. First come, first served, so be sure to apply right away. Your beta code will be emailed to you next week when the competition ends, and you can redeem it on the Settlers Online website.
Don't forget to check out our The Settlers Online preview for more details.