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And the Winner is? Anno 1800!

Even at MegaDev, Anno breaks all records!

Anno 1800, which has been awarded countless times, is one of MegaDev's most popular games. Which means it's about time, to analyze its appeal in greater detail.

Anno 1800 Screenshot
Anno 1800 Screenshot

Some of our users rightfully ask themselves: Do we really need another blog post about the winner of the German Video Game Award (DCP) 2020? Since Anno 1800 was awarded "Best German Game" for the second time in a row in April 2020, almost exactly one year after its release, the coverage has not stopped. But despite the widespread coverage of Anno 1800 (or perhaps because of it), two things finally led me to write my own blog post on the topic.

  • Anno 1800 broke all records at MegaDev. This is reflected in the number of unique players & users the economic-simulation has within our software. While in April 2019 (its release month) more than 14,000 players played the game, the rate stabilized at around 6,000 per month. It increased again between March, April, and May 2020 - to an average of slightly more than 10,000 starts per month.

    MegaDev's most popular games durring cororna pandemic
    MegaDev's most popular games durring cororna pandemic
  • The publisher of the Anno franchise, Ubisoft, has announced that they still have a lot of feature and gameplay ideas for the franchise and that the content drop for Anno 1800 is far from over. The show must go on!

What makes Anno (1800) such a popular franchise

That’s why I'm interested. Hence this article. Why is Anno as a series, but especially Anno 1800, so popular in Germany? From my point of view, Anno fans appreciate the true-to-life simulation of complex economic relationships. Diplomacy and war are also realistically portrayed and play an important role, just like in the real world.

Even the first game, Anno 1602, which was released back in 1998, was developed by German (and Austrian) developers. Ubisoft has been the publisher of the series since 2007. Anno 1602 sold over 2 million copies by January 2002, making it the best-selling German developed game ever.

With that, the success story took its course. Apart from various spin-offs, 7 games have been published within the franchise so far. The latest being Anno 1800, which is set in the time of the industrial revolution in the 19th century and is once again packed with complexity.

The best of the best in one game?

In an increasingly globalized world, the goal in Anno 1800 is to establish a worldwide trading network, by using diplomacy and/or force. The gameplay combines the best features of over 20 years of Anno, while also adding new features and mechanics.

For the first time, players can send their teams on expeditions to plunder the riches of foreign lands, such as artifacts, natural resources, or even animals for zoos. As is tradition in any Anno game, players pass through several stages of technology developments and revolutions. But it is not until the fourth level of civilization, the industrial revolution, powered by electricity, steamboats, railroads, etc., that the game really comes into its own and offers more complexity than other Anno games before.

Just one more round!

The new division of the workforce is a particularly brilliant gameplay mechanic. An engineer in Anno 1800 does not earn his living as a farmer but demands an electrical connection in his home. Thus, every profession and worker has specific requirements for the city, which need to be addressed. Generally speaking, the attraction of cities or islands in Anno 1800 effects not only the social fabric (keyword: uprisings) but also tourism, which for the first time plays a very important role and is portrayed historically accurate.

With ever-changing challenges, Anno 1800 constantly forces me to rethink my strategies and supply chains. Granted, the campaign mode could have had a little more depth, but the sandbox mode, keeps me up at night since all I can hear is: "Just one more round!"

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Dog dad, boyfriend, tech lover, foodie

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