Steam's most wishlisted city builder, Manor Lords, announces 2024 early access launch date

Manor Lords is a strategy city builder so highly anticipated that it appeared on more Steam wishlists than even the daddy of all city builders, Cities: Skylines 2. And for as long as I can remember, Manor Lords' release date on Steam has been listed as "2023," a year that is rapidly approaching its end.

Alas, for anyone (like me) who hoped to hunker down over the holidays and grow a tiny medieval town into a bustling village, that launch date has been revised. Manor Lords is now planned to release on April 26, 2024.

There's another surprise in the new trailer you can see above: Manor Lords will launch in early access as opposed to a full 1.0 release. That's not necessarily bad news—I think we're all a bit exasperated by so many unfinished games launching before they're ready, so at least we can temper our expectations while giving the developer more time to work on the game.

The developer, Slavic Magic, posted a brief apology to Twitter following the announcement: "I wanted to hit 2023, but I failed. We pushed it to 26 April 2024. I'm sorry - it was a tough decision, but the game needs more bugfix and polish, even for an early access."

On the plus side, Manor Lords will be available on PC Game Pass on day one, so if you've already got a subscription you'll be able to try it without any further investment. In addition to Steam Early Access it'll also be on GOG, and a console launch is also planned further down the line.

As for the new trailer itself, it looks fantastic. In addition to the fine details of the village being built we get a glimpse of city polices that can be enacted, like taxes and tithes. We also get a look at some battles, which aren't fought by nameless warriors who spawn at a barracks but by your own townfolk who take up arms to defend their holdings (or take over new ones).

In the meantime, I'll cross my fingers that we get another taste of Manor Lords before April 24. I was heavily impressed by the historical accuracy of the Manor Lords demo that was briefly available back in October of last year, and there's another Next Fest coming in February. Maybe we'll get lucky with a new demo.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.