ESPORTS DISCOVERY

The developer of strategy city builder Manor Lords expected 14,000 Steam wishlists… and wound up with 2 million

When I first saw footage of medieval city builder Manor Lords a few years ago I added it to my Steam wishlist before the trailer had even finished playing. That’s how good it looked.

I wasn’t alone, either. Manor Lords has occupied second place on Steam’s top wishlisted games for at least a year, where it’s rubbed shoulders with big name games like Hades 2, Starfield, and Hollow Knight: Silksong. That’s especially impressive considering Manor Lords is being developed by a single person, Greg Styczeń, of Slavic Magic.

If you were wondering just how many people need to add a game to their Steam wishlist to reach (very nearly) the tippy top of Steam, we’ve now got a number for you: 2 million. According to publisher Hooded Horse, that’s how many Steam wishlists Manor Lords is now parked on. And it turns out that number came as a big surprise to Styczeń.

“When we first launched the announcement trailer in 2020, my girlfriend said she expected me to get 7,000 wishlists,” Styczeń says. “I was more optimistic and said it would be more like 14,000 and that would be awesome. Suffice to say, I did not expect the game to pick up so much interest and hit over 2 million.”

Why is there so much interest in Manor Lords? Aside from the fact that city builders are one of the biggest genres around these days (for a while last year three of the top five most wishlisted games on Steam were city building games), Manor Lords looks particularly ambitious. It blends medieval-inspired city building with huge RTS battles as you both defend your settlement and attempt to conquer other regions. 

It’s also got a wonderful amount of detail packed into it as I discovered when I played the impressive demo in 2022. You can even walk around your city in third-person to check it out from street level.

So it’s no wonder a couple million people are dying to play it. As for other developers working hard on their own games and hoping to climb the wishlist ladder, it shows just how far a single dev can go, too.

“I hope this is encouraging for other devs who struggle to get their games out there,” Styczeń says. “I had no idea how the game would be received or if I’d be bad at marketing, but luckily I wasn’t discouraged and kept going.”

Manor Lords was originally planned for a release in 2023, but will now launch this year on April 26.

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