Chart-topping city-builder Manor Lords hits 3 million wishlists four days before launch

Manor Lords tavern - Peasants walking through town
(Image credit: Slavic Magic)

Medieval city-builder Manor Lords continues to gather steam ahead of its Early Access release, which is doubly impressive considering its set in a preindustrial society. The game surpassed three million wishlists on Steam over the weekend, adding another 500,000 to the total in the span of seven days.

Created by solo developer Greg Styczeń, also known as Slavic Magic, Manor Lords is a comprehensive and intimate simulation of medieval life. It's been hotly anticipated since its announcement back in 2020, but the hype has been building rapidly since the start of 2024. Last week, the game officially topped Steam's wishlist chart, surpassing games like Hades 2 and Hollow Knight: Silksong.

There's good reason why Manor Lords is so feverishly sought after. Fraser took a walk along the game's muddy, cart-rutted streets earlier this month, and had a grand old time planning out homes, claiming neighbouring regions, battling bandits, and setting his entire village on an exclusively egg-based diet. " Manor Lords is a fetching city builder that lets you properly admire what you've built," he wrote in his preview. "I've spent a considerable amount of time walking around it as my noble, and even outside of that mode you can go from looking at a map of every region right down to street-level seamlessly."

That said, the level of hype surrounding Manor Lords has led Slavic Magic to try to manage expectations. Shortly after mounting the summit of Steam's wishlist chart, explaining that its inclusion of real-time battles does not mean that it's a Total War competitor. "It's a city builder with battles," Styczeń wrote in a recent Steam announcement. "Yes, battles are there, but not as huge or as frequent as some of you might expect. The majority of gameplay is focused on city building and management."

Manor Lords is also far from the only exciting-looking city-builder around at the moment. The genre saw a huge resurgence in 2023, with games like Against the Storm and Fabledom adding their own twists to its central ideas. There are more to come too, not least 11 Bit's survivalist sequel Frostpunk 2, which Chris recently discovered looks to be just as harrowing as its predecessor.