The settlers were doomed from the start

A picture from happier days: The settlers were originally supposed to be a more complex game – including city walls (bottom left).

After a long radio silence The Settlers (2022) back – but no more building game. Ubisoft now describes The Settlers as an “economy-driven RTS”, as an “economy-driven real-time strategy game”. That sounds like sitting between the chairs and it is: When we played it, neither the construction nor the military aspect convinced us, the new settler feels like shallow leftovers.

Originally we were supposed to get another The Settlers, a complex building game with interlocking mechanics and interesting production chains. However, we are not surprised that this concept was not implemented.

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Micha, Maurice and Fabiano discuss why in the podcast. Although we would have loved the original Settlers concept, the Settlers series has several (partly self-inflicted) problems:

  • The settlers 7 appeared in 2010, since then there hasn’t been a fully-fledged series part – over Champions of Anteria Let’s cover the cloak of silence. For comparison: in the same period three Annos were published. This has weakened the settler brand, especially on the international market, where it has less tradition than in German-speaking countries.
  • With its comparatively small maps, The Settlers has always sat in a niche. Different to Cities: Skylines or Anno 1800 it is not a building game where you can spend tens or even hundreds of hours building and expanding a growing “creation”. But that’s exactly where the development trend went for years: long tinkering games instead of individual, compact conquests.
  • Development games with medieval charm are currently being developed – albeit mainly indie titles such as Foundation (Micha’s secret tip), Manor Lords, Patron, Going Medieval or Distant Kingdoms. I don’t play any of them 1:1 like The Settlers (most likely Foundation), but that may discourage Ubisoft from making major investments.
  • With Anno 1800, Ubisoft already offers a complex development game that is running very successfully worldwide and is currently was extended into the fourth season. Another complex development game would therefore compete with your own brand. Ubisoft will also have shied away from this.

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The new settler was not under a lucky star from the start. We are sure that the inventor of the settlers, Volker Wertich, could have developed a great development game. But that would have required more effort than Ubisoft ultimately wanted to put up.

Before you angrily type in the comments that you would have liked the new settler very much: Yes, we do too! So listen to the podcast first to understand our pain. Especially Maurice’s.

And yes, there is hope too. It just probably doesn’t come from Ubisoft. Because a new Die Siedler would still have its place for us, even if it might be called Ā»Die KolonistenĀ«.

math is difficult
Micah can’t count. The Settlers 7 was 12 years ago, not 22 years as he claims in the introduction. As a punishment, he has to count all the donkeys that were ever shown in pictures in the GameStar booklet.

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