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Manor Lords is off to a flying start on Steam, just hours after its early access release

It mightn’t be a huge surprise to hear – given we’re talking about one of Steam’s most wishlisted games in recent times – but solo developer Slavic Magic’s Manor Lords is off to a flying start; the medieval city builder/strategy hybrid is currently Steam’s best-selling title and its fourth most played game just hours after launch, with over 156K concurrent players at the time of writing.

Manor Lords has, of course, been drawing admiring glances since the launch of its demo back in 2022. That early look resulted in half a million people adding the game to their Steam wishlists and that number has only grown; another half a million people have wishlisted it this week alone, meaning it had surpassed 3m

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by the time today’s early access release rolled around.

Since launching this afternoon, Manor Lords has steadily worked its way up Steam’s most-played charts, passing evergreen big hitters such as Grand Theft Auto 4, Rust, Apex Legends, and Rainbow Six Siege – not to mention a couple of ballsy newcomers (Helldivers 2) and returning favourites (Fallout 4 and Stardew Valley) – along the way. Right now, with 156K concurrent players to its name, there’re just three perennially immovable titles – PUBG, Dota 2, and Counter-Strike 2 – between it and the number one spot.

Manor Lords – trailer.Watch on YouTube

And Manor Lords’ success seems well-deserved; even in its initial early access guise, it’s an impressive achievement – although there’s clearly work still to be done. As Eurogamer’s Robert Purchese put it in his early access review this week, “There’s a confidence to Manor Lords that belies its one-person development, and what’s there can be spellbinding, but it’s a pastoral idyll that still needs significant development.”

“The potential is there,” Bertie concluded, “the foundations are most assuredly laid, it just now needs to build on top of them.” And with Manor Lords currently expected to remain in early access for around a year – as per its Steam page – there’s still plenty of time to turn its early magic into something very special indeed.

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