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Manor Lords publisher’s new strategy game delayed as wishlists surge

Developer Long Jaunt delays the release of medieval colony sim Norland to include more features, as it hits a big Steam wishlist milestone.

Norland release date delayed as medieval strategy game hits wishlist milestone - A bearded king in full regalia.

As Manor Lords and Bellwright soar on Steam, it’s clear there’s a big appetite for medieval sandbox and building games right now. Rimworld-style colony sim Norland is looking to be the latest winner from that trend, having just attained a huge milestone by hitting half a million wishlists, making it one of the most wanted games on Steam. In light of that news, developer Long Jaunt has made the decision to push back the Norland release date in order to add some additional features.

With a surge from Steam Next Fest demo players, the 500,000 milestone means that Norland currently sits at number 41 on the Steam wishlist charts – certainly an impressive milestone for the indie strategy game from developer Long Jaunt and publisher Hooded Horse. Unfortunately, if you were eagerly looking forward to its imminent release, you’re going to have to hold on a little while longer.

The new Norland release date is Thursday July 18. That’s a two-month pushback from the previous date of Thursday May 16, which might be disappointing to those who were anticipating getting hands-on this month, but it’s for a good reason. Long Jaunt says it made the decision to take a little more time before launch for further testing, and to incorporate some additional features it wanted to include from day one.

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“Unfortunately, we won’t make the scheduled deadline,” studio head Dmitri Glaznev says of the delay. “We’ve done what we could, but the game needs additional testing and debugging; it doesn’t perform as well as it should. I’d like to postpone the release for a few more weeks to ensure we deliver a well-functioning game. I’m sorry about the additional wait, but we will continue to open up the demo version and conduct regular playtests so you can see how the game is evolving and getting closer to a state we can be proud of.”

As mentioned, there’s a hefty chunk of new features being introduced. These include enhanced world map trading, allowing you to negotiate contracts with the rulers of your neighboring lands. You’ll likely need to engage with this, too, as improved provincial ecology will mean that factors such as soil erosion, finite raw materials, and market saturation will mean you’ll have to look beyond your immediate borders over time in order to ensure your kingdom continues to flourish.

Your ruling family will no longer be immortal, as a new aging system forces you to deal with the passing of your lords. As characters get older, their skills will degrade slightly and they may begin to forget some of their learned knowledge. Fortunately, older lords can also make use of a new feature called ‘wise conversation’ that makes it much more likely to pass on that knowledge to future generations.

Norland release date delay - Farms built in the medieval colony sim.

You’ll now encounter occasional disasters, such as crop failures, fanatics, epidemics, or roaming packs of dangerous wildlife. To help you prepare, you’ll get a prophecy warning you of the impending danger beforehand, although only if you’re in good standing with the Matriarch. The behavior of enemy units in battle has also been improved, so you’ll have a tougher time dealing with bandit camps or defending your own settlements against invaders.

Finally, Long Jaunt reveals several upgrades to the local map activities, with an increase in crime such as break-ins and robberies. To help deal with both that and potential prisoner escapes, you can now set up daytime patrols to keep an eye out for any troublemakers or other dangers such as roaming lycans.

There’s certainly plenty to look forward to when the Norland release date arrives on July 18, then. In the meantime, take a look through more of the best medieval games on PC, along with the best indie games in 2024 to make sure you haven’t missed any sleeper hits.

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