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Category: DevBlog

DevBlog: Seat of Power

“Be thine own palace, or the world’s thy jail,” wrote poet John Donne, an idea many a royal and tyrant appear to have refigured over the centuries, constructing extravagant and self-aggrandizing Palaces as an extension of the self— a demonstration of the power and freedom of divine privilege. The masses would look on in awe of what beauty and grandeur was possible, while they themselves grew ever more miniscule.

By constructing vast and lavishly-adorned palaces, rulers presumed they had the personal heft and prestige to fill the yawning emptiness within. Their gold oozed along every rim and chamfer, their Objet d’art cluttered the mantelpieces, and the oil paintings of their illustrious ancestors gussied up the walls. But mere appearance of power and status will never be enough.

Any such seat of power must also have some connection, no matter how moot, to the important business of state. Such an immoderate edifice as a palace must be more than the oppressor’s great white elephant— it must appear to the people to serve a purpose in their lives. It must be the constitutional heart of government, from which grave and meaningful decisions come to pass under the gavel, in chambers puffed full with the nation’s great political minds. An illusion of democracy. The Palace is the nexus of legislative limbs that reach out and touch every corner of the empire, where, as no leaping lord will admit, all of the real business is conducted…

The palace is as classic an Anno element as any, having been first introduced all the way back at the franchise’s birth in 1998 with Anno 1602. From then on, it would go on to serve in several other Anno games as something to aspire to in the late game, once you had mastered all other challenges. In this way, it would serve as the ultimate projection of your city-building prowess.  Now, the palace is ready to make its triumphant return in Anno 1800, kicking off Season 2 and living up to its predestined role as your “Seat of Power”.

A Seat of Power fit for any industrial ruler

Flexibility both majestic and modular

The first thing players will notice about Anno 1800’s palace is its visual opulence. The palace joins the ranks of the botanical garden, museum and zoo as 1800’s latest modular building, giving you a lot of freedom on how to arrange the 6 different modules (straight, gate, corner, junction, crossing and end pieces, plus some cosmetic variations on the straight pieces) to your liking. As with our other modular building projects, it all begins with the main building, which you will unlock once the first investor calls your empire their home (assuming of course you can afford the associated significant building cost). You will also be able to build an initial number of modules, based on your profile level. As you attract additional citizens and raise your profile level, you will unlock the ability to place even more modules. And guess what- there is no hard limit on the number of modules you can unlock, with one community member reaching more than 130 modules in a recent playtest! Now before your mind starts drifting off with visions of an all-palace empire, there are some limitations we have to talk about- namely that you can only build one palace in your empire, and it can only be placed on an Old World island (so either the original session, or Cape Trelawney from our “Sunken Treasures” DLC).

Beyond this limitation, you have a lot of flexibility when it comes to building your palace, and we have already seen a variety of impressive setups in our tests- from extravagant gardens to museums and even a world fair constructed within a sprawling palace’s inner courtyard! And of course, both streets and railway tracks can be placed inside the gates to make sure that whatever you want to construct inside the place grounds is properly connected to the rest of your city!

Entering the halls of power…

Projecting your power, one buff at a time

But what about those players who don’t care pretty looks you, I hear some of you ask? Very well then- let us talk departments and policies! Once you construct your palace, you immediately gain access to one or more departments (based on your city attractiveness), with additional departments unlocking over time as your island increases its attractiveness. So, what do they do? For starters, each unlocked department immediately gives you access to a permanent buff, such as +200 tons islands storage per Harbormaster’s office on that island (each department is specialized on one aspect of your city, such as administration, culture or trade). In addition – and this is where things get really interesting – each unlocked department gives you a choice of several policies, of which only one can be active at a time (though you can switch them out). These give you a lot of flexibility to make sure that whatever the situation on your island currently is, you have full control of what boon you want to use.

The departments you can unlock over time

Of course, it would not be Anno if there was not also a logistical element to it all- these boons only work in a certain radius around the palace, and only along the street network (though only the palace main building has to be connected to the streets, rather than every module). And, to bring everything full circle and ensure that future palace builders will have to make some tough choices, the radius of these effects increases with each additional palace module constructed. Do you want a minimal palace to leave as much room as possible for the rest of your city? Or are you looking to construct enough modules to have the effects of your policies reach across all of Crown Falls? As always, the choice is yours!

There is one more piece of the palace puzzle, and that is the local department. These are essentially outposts of the palace that you can construct once per Old World or Cape Trelawney island to select a single policy (out of al your unlocked departments and policies) to enact locally. Beyond this limitation, local departments follow the same rules as the main palace- they give a passive buff (based on the active policy you selected), and buildings must be both within their radius and connected to the street network to benefit from them. And yes- more palace modules also increase the range of the local departments. Happy city-puzzling, everyone!

Start ruling from March 24

And there you have it! Seat of Power combines a lot of flexibility for building the modular palace of your dreams with some tough choices when it comes to which buff to select for which island and local department. On top of that, you can prove your mastery with five new achievements, and two new sets of ornaments you can unlock with the Ubisoft Club. You can start constructing the “Seat of Power” of your dreams when the first DLC of Season 2 becomes available on March 24th for all Season 2 Pass owners. Starting on that day, you can also buy the DLC individually for 9,99€/ $, or your local equivalent. However, please note that due to the current government advisory on the Covid-19 pandemic, we will have to skip our traditional release stream for “Seat of Power”. Please take care of yourself and the people around you, and as always, keep an eye on the Anno Union for the latest news.

An illuminated palace at midnight
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DevBlog: The Passage

Dearest Elaine,
I’ve few breaths left. I die never having found a Passage, but then no glory awaits any servant of Sir John. He was certain the ice would not thicken around us in Spring. Fate of expedition now rests on circumnavigation of Terrier Island by short, perilous west shore, or by long, open east channel— fear I know what Sir John will prefer.
Farewell my Elaine.

The frozen north, a final frontier many felt it was their destiny to conquer, whether in the name of science, or for fame and riches. The “Northwest Passage” was a fabled sea route through the Arctic that promised to connect opposite sides of the Northern Hemisphere, conferring great wealth upon anyone brave enough to take an expedition deep into the ice.

From lush jungles to the frozen wastes – A chilling change of scenery
Our third and biggest Season Pass DLC, “The Passage,” tells a story of bravery and hardship, inspired by the valiant souls who risked their life in the name of progress, and tasks you to establish an outpost in the Arctic Circle. The sight of the eerie and beautiful wilderness invites everyone to follow in the footsteps of the Arctic explorers of the 19th century, while seasoned Anno players can look forward to an exciting challenge with a worthy payoff at the end.

The Arctic biome is a welcome change to the milder climate of the Old World and the hot and humid islands in the New World. Frozen shores under a dark sky, this barren wasteland allows us to tell a different kind of tale than you might be used to in Anno 1800™, and the harsh weather conditions offer interesting new gameplay elements. Our goal was that conquering the Arctic session should be an exciting endeavor as it will require you to rethink your strategies, away from raising big cities to carefully maintaining an outpost in a seemingly hostile environment.

The new campaign chapter of The Passagewill send you on a rescue missionof an Arctic expedition. Inspired by the events of the Franklin Expedition, searching for Sir John and his crew will unfold a dramatic series of events with an unclear outcome.

We need to keep our people warm – managing an Arctic outpost
With much potential for striking visuals and room for interesting gameplay additions, we knew that the Arctic biome would be a perfect opportunity to play around with new gameplay mechanics. The new region should be an exciting adventure for everyone but a true challenge for achievers who want to conquer the wasteland in order to reap significant rewards.

Harsh weather conditions are your dire enemy in the north and the new heating mechanic will challenge you to rethink the way you used to create layouts in order to keep your residents warm and healthy. The two new residential tiers, explorers and technicians, are audacious adventurers who, in the name of progress, turned their back to the amenities and comfort of the modern city life.

While their population needs reflect rather pragmatic necessities, the wasteful luxury goods got replaced by the much more urgent need for heat. Residential buildings as well as production facilities need to be connected to a heat source to function properly, with the new category of goods providing additional ways of keeping your residents warm and heathy.
The new heaters serve here as the foundation, radiators which allow you to provide a basic level of heat for every building in the vicinity. Like the electric power plant, it automatically places heat pipes along the street network, and thus is relying on street distance rather than a radius. But as its effectiveness is limited, maintaining and expanding your outpost becomes a jigsaw puzzle of proper space and heat management.

The Northern Hemisphere is an icy wasteland, and construction space, as well as basic resources, are sparse. Heaters operate by burning coal, which is hard to come by and requires you to construct charcoal kilns in the sparsely populated woods on islands located on the south or to import coal from the Old World all the way back to your Arctic outpost.
New goods such as sleeping bags or parkas will provide an additional source of comfort and thus let the heat meter rise. If you won’t be able to connect buildings to a heater, or if your fuel support falters, goods can provide a sufficient level of heat depending how well you can or want to supply your Arctic residents.
But with decreasing temperatures, the risk for a dreaded disease rises: The Arctic Flu.
Similar to the illness in the Old World at first glance, the Arctic Flu is a much more dire opponent for your residents due to the harsh living conditions in the North. It spreads faster, is more resilient and has the potential to not only paralyze your fickle northern infrastructure but will also take its toll on your Arctic population. So keep your toes warm to avoid a nasty surprise in the morning.

Adapted to the permafrost – new buildings and production chains
Other than constructing heaters,your outpost will give you access to several new buildings and production chains adapted to the life up north.
The Ranger Station will not only keep an eye out for fires in your outpost, it also provides medical support for your sick explorers, while the Canteen serves as a social gathering hub but also replaces the marketplace by issuing food and other goods. The Post Office is a new cultural need, allowing your researchers to stay in contact with their friends and families back home.
Population needs are as pragmatic as the fight against the freezing temperatures. To support your researchers with a steady supply of jerky, hunting cabins send out rangers to hunt for caribous, whale oil fuels your brass lamps and bear and seal pelts allow you to produce parkas and sleeping bags. But it is hard to survive up there without help from the Old World, and you will need to import canned food provisions and, as you can imagine, Arctic explorers don’t like if their schnapps flask runs dry.

To keep things going, your technicians found a new way of transportation for your snow-covered streets: the husky sled. Your trusty four-legged companions serve not only as a need for your technicians, they also provide satisfying visual feedback in your outpost.
Over time, your outpost will grow, and what seems like a barren wasteland for us is called home by others. The Inuit, a new third-party trader, are willing to trade when your stock runs low, as well as offer a variety of new items especially useful in the Northern Hemisphere.


As soon as you overcome the struggle and the daily life on the ice becomes normality, you will find that the Arctic also has plenty to offer. The North can become a profitable hunting ground for precious pelts
and there are some especially rich gold deposits, which promise a more efficient supply of the rare metal than your mines in the New World. You will also be able to collect new sets for your museum and your zoo to allow your residents back home to get a grasp of this strange and wild place.

But you are not alone, as news about the natural resources spread quickly and as such, second-party characters will follow you on your path into the Passage to start their own settlements.

Conquering the sky – the Airship Hangar
For the ones overcoming the challenges of the hostile environment, a big payoff awaits: the Airship!
Inspired by actual historical efforts to building zeppelins in the Arctic to avoid the brash ice, the Airship Hangar is the new monument coming with The Passage.
Building this technical marvel will be a huge undertaking, as it requires you to import a lot of construction material from your larger cities in the South in order to finish the four construction stages of the monument. Once you finish the Airship Hangar, of which you will be able to build one in every Arctic settlement, you can start to construct your first airship.

Airships are the ultimate endgame vessel for your trade routes, but they are costly to construct. It not only takes a long time to build one, you also need a new resource to fill their balloons during construction: gas. While your old companion Nate happily supports your first prototype with a shipment of gas, the resource itself exists only in the northern region of the Arctic: to be precise, on barren ice cliffs.
Without any real beach for ships to land, and missing any fundamental resources to construct a settlement, these islands are out of reach for any traditional vessel. If you dream of your own fleet of airships, you must claim the icy cliffs and establish your mining outposts with the help of an airbridge.

Airships can safely avoid pirates, and can take direct routes just over islands instead of slowly maneuvering around them. They have also a total of 4 cargo and 2 item slots. However, they are also more strongly affected by wind, and their unloading and loading process naturally takes more time than with a traditional ship.

But airships are not the only new addition to optimize your endgame logistics. Once transported into the Old World, the gas comes in handy if you build one of the new progressive gas powerplants. More effective than their oil-running cousins, the gas powerplant can operate without relying on trains to constantly feed their burners. If you can establish a trade route ensuring a steady supply of gas, the new powerplant can free up important space in your metropolis. But beware: as the gas is a rare resource, you probably must make tough decisions where it makes most sense to replace your old oil plants.

And while talking about technical progress, your scientific endeavors inspired our old friend Nate to work in new inventions, which will expand the crafting list for items you are not limited to use in the Arctic session.

An adventure of epic proportion awaits
The Passage is not only our biggest DLC yet, it is also a true passion project from the team. From the atmosphere, to the details to the amount of content coming with the final Season Pass content, we are eager to see how you like our adventure into the frozen wilds. With hundreds of Union members playtesting the content, it is also a true community project and shows how much influence you continue to have on Anno 1800 and its extended content.

Our third Season Pass DLC, The Passage, will release December 10th along with Game Update 6. The Passage expands the content of Anno 1800 with:
– A new Arctic gameplay session
– Rescue Sir Johns crew in a new story chapter for Anno 1800
– 2 new Residential Tiers: the Explorers and the Technicians
– 32 new Buildings, 7 new production chains and 13 new production goods
– Over 60 new quests
– Fight the cold with the new heating systems
– Construct your airship trade fleet in the new Airship Hangar monument

Until next time, when we will share the full list of changes and free content coming with Game Update 6!


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DevBlog: Day & Night

The invention of the light bulb was more than a mere boon to comfort and luxury. This new way of illuminating the darkness was also an inspiring force for creative minds and a motor for the industry, unshackling them from the natural rhythm of day and night. With electricity playing such an important role in Anno 1800’s economy, there was a strong desire from our community to have a true day and night cycle in the game. Finally, this wish became reality with Game Update 4. As the days are getting ever shorter, what better time to shine a light on this major visual update than in today’s DevBlog!

A true passion project for the players – the beginnings

Since the early days of development, we had been toying with the idea to add a day & night cycle to Anno 1800, similar to the one from 2205. In reality, game development often means throwing a lot of ideas onto a wall and then deciding which ones may be a crucial must-have features, while others end up on a potential “nice to have later” list. While the day & night originally did not make the cut, many Union members told us repeatedly that they would love to see a return of that feature to the series.

Therefore, when some members of our art team had a bit of time available after launch, they immediately set out to realize this previously scraped idea from the early days of Anno 1800. This plan was quickly validated by the modding community jumping on the topic, which showed the big interest in having this functionality in Anno 1800.

Let there be light – developing the Day & Night feature

As is often the case, our artists are perfectionists once they have their hearts set on a topic.So it was clear from the get-go that an official day & night cycle could not simply be about adding a dark night, and sun and moon cycles. Instead, almost every asset players can build would have to be reworked to make sure they look their best, no matter the time of day. Ranging from new glowing textures for illuminated windows to tons of new light sources to ships sailing the nocturnal oceans, we added over 1000 new light sources and changed more than 200 existing assets to provide the intended ambience during the night.

We also had to ensure that the new light sources would start shining during specific times of the day and account for the additional gloom of our dusk and sunset scenarios. In the 19th century, cityscapes started to change drastically with the introduction of the lightbulb. We depicted this in the game world with a more blueish tint to our electric light sources, as opposed to the warmer, yellowish light of candles and fireplaces; this way, a heavily industrialized metropolis will look and feel notably different from a rural hamlet’s atmosphere.

Here you can see how we manually setup a new light source!

Our modern cities are awash with artificial light during the night but back then, they were comparatively sparsely illuminated. Once more, we decided for a tradeoff: we wanted to create an appealing contrast to the darkness while we also did not want to outright dismiss that feeling of a gone century in the midst of transformation into the modern world.  

Players would also expect that their city would appear much quieter during the night, but Anno’s cityscapes are normally famously bustling with life. As a result, we had to send our feedback units through another development pass, where we had to reduce the overall amount of residents following their daily business while again, adding and altering light sources. As a result, the streets are less crowded during the late hours. You may also notice some other subtle changes, such as removing the kids from the schoolyard during the night or adding more musicians to the pub to let it appear livelier in the after work hours. 

Our tools allowed us to precisely define the tinting of each time of day.

Finally but crucially, we wanted to give the player full control over the scenery. For that, we had to program the functionality to allow them to change the time of day at their convenience or to go for one of our presets, such as daylight, dusk, dawn or midnight. While we decided to make the night hours shorter than the actual day for gameplay convenience, players would also be able to decide to stop the cycle altogether to enjoy their sunset for as long as they like.

It’s not always style over substance – Impact on Gameplay

While changing hundreds of assets manually was a huge albeit worthwhile task, there was more to it than just adding another layer of visual fidelity.
In a game like Anno, readability is an important factor to provide a satisfying gameplay experience.

While various tooltips and windows help you to keep an overview about events in your empire, the game also transmits a lot of information through visual feedback happening in your city. A night setting naturally makes it much harder to read what is going on, which necessitated the addition of all these new light sources to make sure that you could still identify all buildings, and not lose track of your ships.

We also played around with ideas how the shift from day to the midst of the night could affect gameplay, and while it would open many possibilities, we realized that doing so would simply add a lot of unnecessary micromanagement, without actually benefiting the overall game experience and player fantasy.  

Day & Night, a joint effort

While we have primarily talked about our artists, the day & night update was a collaborative effort from the whole Anno team, drawing on all disciplines from art and engine R&D (research and development) to programming and interface. Judging by the countless of majestically lighted nocturnal cityscapes we have seen online, we are very happy with the results of this effort, and hope you agree as well.

What is your preferred time of day for your empire? And do you make extensive active use of the options available, or do you just roll with the natural rhythm of night and day? Let us know in the comments below!

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DevBlog: I want to be anarchy

The class struggle in the 19th century was a clash between capital and labor, between the money aristocracy seeking profit and the working people yearning for their individual rights and a sustainable way of living. To break the chains of the ruling class, many of them organized in unions and opened their minds to new ideas, preaching a more humane and progressive evolution of society. Naturally, some of those visions of what this new and better world could look like were more radical than others, stoked by agitators whose tongues were as sharp as any sword…

Dr. Hugo Mercier, the infamous Anarchist, will be the newest addition to Anno 1800’s diverse cast of characters. While ruthless robber barons like von Malching or visionary architects like Gasparov build their magnificent Metropolises on the back of the populace, the Anarchist is a true man of the people, breaking the chains of indentured servitude and freeing his citizens from capitalist oppression. At least that is what he will happily tell you, and anyone else willing to listen to his manifesto.

Us humble game developers, on the other hand, are happy to tell you how exactly he differs from other characters and what this means for you as the player, before we end with the cold hard numbers of content included with the Anarchist.

If thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought
Unlike other NPCs in Anno 1800, Hugo Mercier does not bend to the rules of capitalism, and many of his political beliefs are also reflected in his gameplay. While he will follow the general game rules that other NPCs (and human players) have to with regards of production of good etc., his islands will deviate from his competitors in some major ways.  One such drastic exception is that as a vowed opponent of capitalism, the Anarchist will not allow any investors to set foot onto his island, capping his progression at engineer level instead. He also has strong feelings about the monetary system and religion, so do not expect to find any banks or churches throughout his empire.

The same is true for tourism. While Mercier is happy to welcome any new believers to live on his island, he despises the notion of hordes of idling tourists dallying around his utopian cities. 

With all of those missing buildings, you may be wondering how Dr. Mercier keeps his citizens happy and following his party line? Those problems are nothing that a little bit of propaganda won’t fix. To this end, the Anarchist’s islands will have a unique look, as he will deck out his buildings with lots of banners, flags and posters to inspire his citizens’ love for the cause. To do so, he goes beyond just visuals- you will also see him constructing lots of speaker towers, which will play recordings of his teachings to his loyal subjects. You can of course listen in on them yourself to see whether you agree with his political leanings.

The Revolution devours its children

As it turns out, not all of his citizens do, which brings us to the defector feature. As Doctor Mercier’s grip on his islands tightens, many of his not-so-loyal-after-all subjects will be looking to leave his anarchistic experiment behind. To this end, they will offer you quests to accept them onto your islands. If you choose to do so, they will express their gratitude with rewards like new items or money.

At a certain point however, Mercier won’t accept you taking on all these defectors anymore, and may start to spread unrest among your own citizens with his agents. You will have to be very careful to manage this threat, lest anarchy and unrest can quickly engulf your own islands! To represent this in the game, we are introducing a new quest type related to his threat. For these, your citizens will make their demands known, leaving you with the choice whether you want to give in to their demand, or face the (sometimes dire) consequences, such as fires and riots in your city. Defectors will require players to constantly balance the benefits of receiving their rewards with the risks of anarchic mayhem spreading in your empire. Long-time Anno fans may recognize the conceptual similarities to the beggars in Anno 1404 (or Dawn of Discovery, as it was known in many regions).

Friend or Foe?

Of course, the defection mechanic is not the only way that players will be able to interact with the (fully voiced) Anarchist, who is a medium-difficulty opponent. Similarly to our other NPC opponents, he will also offer players a range of voluntary quests to undertake, during which they will learn more about the character and the beliefs driving him.

As part of that, he may occasionally ask you to print special propaganda articles in your newspaper on his behalf. These special marked texts will not cost you any influence to print and will provide you with powerful buys, though there will also be associate downsides for them.

Another aspect setting him apart from his peers is how trade-happy he is. Not only is he very easy to come to a trade agreement with, but he will also offer to sell you items, which is usually reserved for third-party characters like Madame Kahina. One of these items you will be able to acquire from him are the new sea mines, which speak to his defense-focused nature.

The Anarchist content and Game Update 3 (Release Notes on this coming next week) are planned to be released on June 5. He will be available to all owners of the Digital Deluxe and Pioneers Editions. Should you have bought the Standard Edition at launch, you can now upgrade to the Digital Deluxe Edition to not only gain access to The Anarchist once he is released, but also the digital art book, digital soundtrack and 4 unique company logos.

The Anarchist at a glance

New medium-difficult AI opponent: Dr Hugo Mercier, the Anarchist

New defection system to keep players on their toes

Over 50 new quests

Over 50 new items

Unlock his portrait and logo for your own profile

6 new Achievements to challenge players

2 new ornaments you can unlock via Ubisoft Club to build in your city

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DevBlog: Scoring the industrial revolution

A cityscape of smoking chimneys. Streets brimming with life, as the upper classes take to the zoo for a day out with the family. None of these evocative scenes could unfold their full impact on the player without the proper musical accompaniment. Orchestral soundtracks have always been a key part of the Anno experience, and this is no different for Anno 1800. So join us on a journey intot he creation of Anno 1800’s grand soundscapes.

Let us raise the curtain for veteran composer Tilman Sillescu (who has been working on the music for Anno games since 1701) and his team at Dynamedion, as they carry you away into the world of the industrial revolution:

And while we focused on Tilman in the video, we would be remiss to forget all the other talented composers who contributed to the game, as seen here:


If all of the above has put you into the right mood to light candles and to dust off your old record player, we have some great news for you! We have created a limited vinyl edition of the Anno 1800 soundtrack in partnership with Black Screen Records! If you want to call one of these precious records your own, you get still get them here.

Alternatively, you can also enjoy the full digital soundtrack on spotify!

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Announcing the Anno 1800 Season Pass and our free content plans

One of the most frequently asked questions over the past weeks and months has been what kind of post-launch content and support players could expect from Anno 1800. Today, we are happy to answer some of those questions, as we announce our Season Pass, which consists of three DLCs (which will also be available separately) that we plan to release throughout 2019. We are also giving you a first glimpse at our free content plans, and detail how you can upgrade your standard edition of the game to the Digital Deluxe Edition to secure the Anarchist character that we will release in the coming months.

The 1800 Season Pass is here

Let’s start with the biggest news: We are announcing the Anno 1800 Season Pass, which will give players access to three big content drops that we will be releasing throughout the year.

Our goal with these DLCs is to offer a variety of content that expands on all the new features and systems of Anno 1800. This includes some new additions that the community has been asking for or speculating about. So let us a first teasing look at what to expect when you buy the Season Pass.

DLC 1: Sunken Treasures

Expand your island with a new European session and large continental island, as you join an eccentric inventor and his diving bell on a treasure hunt.

DLC 2: Botanica

Grow your city’s attractiveness to new heights with a modular Botanical Garden, allowing you to earn new items and rewards as you draw the tourist masses to your floral masterpiece. Alternatively, construct the new Musical Pavilion and enjoy beloved tracks from previous Anno games inside your city.

DLC 3: The Passage

The Passage will take you on a new adventure to the Arctic Circle as you explore the legendary Northwest Passage. To succeed in this merciless climate, you will need to construct an arctic outpost and master all-new production chains and goods.

Cosmetic Content (available on Day 1)

Buyers of the Season Pass will also immediately receive three cosmetic customization items that you can use to customize your game profile for multiplayer: the prisoner portrait, and two exclusive company logos (“Promethean Fire” and “Eagle Crest”).

The Anno 1800 Season Pass is now available for digital purchase and is priced at 24,99$/€.

Upgrade your game to Digital Deluxe and secure the upcoming Anarchist character

Another question that has frequently popped up is how players who have bought the standard edition of Anno 1800 could get access to the Anarchist character when it is released. This is now possible, thanks to our Digital Deluxe Edition upgrade, which you can now buy to upgrade your version of the game.

Doing so unlocks fours things for you:

  • Access to the Anarchist character (once he releases in the future)
  • 4 unique company logos you can use to customize your profile (now available)
  • A digital version of our beautiful artbook (now available)
  • A digital selection of music from Anno 1800’s orchestral soundtrack (now available)

Also, to avoid any confusion: The Anarchist is only available as part of the Digital Deluxe Edition, the Digital Deluxe Edition Upgrade and the Pioneers Edition. It is not part of the Season Pass (see above for details on what is included in the Season Pass).

So, who is the Anarchist, exactly?

“A self-proclaimed anarchist, Dr. Mercier has created a radical new society free of the state. Formerly champion of a union of student dentists, Mercier was asked by the Queen to use his popular appeal to pacify increasing threats of revolution in her territories. Instead Mercier sided with the protesters, declaring the people’s complete independence from crown authority.”

In game terms, the Anarchist is a new NPC opponent you can select to play against, including his own unique set of quests and rewards for the player to tackle. And while we don’t want to spoil too much, we can safely say that he will bring a very flavorful and unique playstyle to the game, with his own set of behavioral rules that mirror his views on politics and society.

Consider yourselves warned…

Did someone say Free Content?

As you can see from the above, we do have some big plans to support Anno 1800 and to make sure it stays exciting and fresh for our Annoholics. To this end, we are also planning to deliver regular Game Updates that will be free for all players of Anno 1800. Those will not only include bug fixes and ongoing balancing, but will also include all-new game content- some of which is a direct result of your feedback here on the Anno Union. So let’s see what’s in store (Note: We can’t promise any dates when this content will hit, so the below order does not necessarily reflect how it will be released).

Statistics Building

One request we have seen from many of the more experienced Anno players that love to go all in on the min-maxing is to have more information about their production chains and their output available. To provide you this information, we will be introducing a new statistics building in the future.

Co-Op Mode

You asked for it, and we listened: Anno 1800 will receive a free co-op mode in a future update, allowing you to team up with your friends to take shared control of a single empire as it evolves throughout the industrial revolution

Community Challenges

We will be giving the Anno Community regular challenges that will require all of you to come together to reach a shared goal. Doing so will unlock new cosmetic customization options like company icons or even skins for all participants. Go Anno union!

And that’s it for today! We know that you are all busy enjoying Anno 1800 as it currently stands, but we hope you enjoyed this first glimpse of what we have planned for you in the future.

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DevBlog: The prodigal Scion returns…

Welcome to the second half of the 19th century: fading aristocracy tries to tighten its iron grip on the population while the power of progress sparks a flame that will eventually engulf and change the entire world. It is a time of ever expanding cities, black sooted factories hungry to fuel the revolution of the machines, but also of the crumbling shackles of old ideologies. Inspired by classic tales such as the Count of Monte Cristo, here is a tragic tale of a family in ruin.  It will be up to you to clear the name of your father’s business and to bring righteous judgement to the malevolent forces responsible.

In today’s DevBlog, we will give you a glimpse at the story and content you will be able to experience in Anno 1800’s campaign. As most of you want to experience the tale of a family rising from the ashes on your own, this blog will be very light on spoilers and should be considered as more of a teaser for what is to come. We also give you some general information about how the narrative campaign is embedded into Anno 1800’s sandbox gameplay.

Anno 1800’s campaign- the facts, and only the facts
While the sandbox experience in Anno 1800 is a customizable playground offering hundreds of hours of gameplay, the campaign is often the first entry port of call in Anno games,  welcoming new players and old veterans alike into a new setting. Over the span of our four campaign chapters, you will not only learn the fundamentals about the core and advanced gameplay mechanics, but we will also transport you to a long bygone era of social unrest and scientific progress. And there is no need to constantly start over, as the entire campaign will unfold over one game during which you keep growing and expanding your empire. To ensure that you can keep playing in this world for as long as you want, the campaign turns into a sandbox game once you finish the final mission of chapter 4.

Many parts of the campaign are hand tailored to the story, and we created several unique locations where this dramatic tale will take place. You will however still be able to alter the full range of sandbox settings, ranging from your starting money and fertilities all the way to deciding which second-party AI characters you want to share the world with. Of course, you will also meet many new characters unique to the campaign story, like your despicable Uncle Edvard and the mysterious Acolyte (whom you may remember from a previous appearance on the Anno Union)…

When playing the campaign, a few key parts of the natural progression of your city will be unlocked via specific story beats, which let you experience and influence important events, such as leading your city into the industrial revolution. This allows us to intertwine the progression of your city with important moments in the sandbox gameplay.

Player freedom is a key goal of Anno 1800, so we want you to be able to play the game how you want, while enjoying a riveting story on top. That includes two campaign-specific expeditions, fully voiced cutscenes, unique voice lines for some of the Sandbox NPCs and more. And then there is the newspaper, acting as a family album of sorts that memorizes important milestones of your story in special issues.

So what’s the story?
In Anno 1800, you relive the story of a family in the 19th century, in a dramatic tale about tragic loss, revenge and a legacy waiting to be reclaimed.
After you are stripped of your inheritance, it is up to you to restart from the ground up with the support of your sister Hannah and your trusted companion Aarhant.

Soon enough, the open questions about your father’s death pile up. Did you malicious uncle Edvard have a hand in his demise? Or is he himself a mere puppet for a yet unseen master? This story unfolds against the backdrop of a tumultuous time, as old monarchy and new money struggle to control the industrial revolution.

Over the course of the campaigns four chapters, you will also learn more about the background stories of many of Anno 1800’s NPC characters, adding an additional layer to our 19th century lore.

But that’s a tale for a different day…

And that’s it for today! With only a week left until our Open Beta, you will soon be able to take your own first steps into the world of Anno 1800’s campaign. Until then, we are looking forward to reading about some of your favorite memories from the campaigns of previous Anno games

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DevBlog: A message to the Union!

As the release of Anno 1800 is drawing close, we want to kick off our launch marathon with a message from our dear Union friend Artur Gasparov.
Starting today, we will push the engines to launch mode where we will provide answers on the last burning questions (such as Open Beta details next week), bring you DevBlogs about the campaign and the soundtrack and – of course – more live-streams such as our EGX panel and a ceremonious unboxing soon!

And with the last sprint before launch, what are you looking forward to and what are your last curious questions for the big maiden voyage on April 16?

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Union Update: Meet your rivals!

Welcome to another week in the Anno Union, this time with an introduction to the cast of Anno 1800 second party characters as well as an update to the streaming schedule.

Meet your rivals!
Originally planned for the end of last week, we prepared a video for you showcasing the variety of AI opponents which will be able to choose as your dire enemy or future to be ally.

Every single rival will have their own character, which will not only define their general difficulty rating but also influence their playstyle.
Since the Closed Beta, we improved their behaviour in many ways and while old chap  Willy will remain let’s say, a slow and simple fella, the AI’s capabilities of defending islands or deciding on various tactics fitting to the situation has improved a lot. As an example, especially war savvy characters will make decisions such as attacking your Harbour directly, engaging your war fleet or launching attacks on your trading routes based on the current situation.


Are you looking forward to testing your skills in naval warfare against the Psychopath Graves or are you more interested in Tea parties with Bente Jorgensen? We are curious to know how important the second party opponents are for you and if you are more the player who likes to challenge themselves with the most fierce of opponents?

Streaming Schedule – 2 streams on the horizon!
As promised during our special German episode of our Community Corner last week, we will have another English episode this week Wednesday at 5pm CET.
While we won’t have a special guest this time, our Community Developer Bastian will not only give you further insights into the fourth tier but also answering your chat questions.

And as one stream is not enough, our Anno Afternoon community crew will return this Friday 5pm CET – Not only Guddy is back on board, we will also jump from the trusty old Closed Beta ship to a newer development version of the game!

We plan to bring you more live-streams in future, from development insights with our AnnoCasts to community focused shows like CommunityCorner and AnnoAfternoon.
If you do not want to miss a show, make sure to follow out twitch channel to receive notifications as soon as we are online.

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DevBlog: Multiplayer

Whether it is teaming up with friends to end Alonso Graves’ reign of terror or taking on three other players to see who will be the last man building- playing Anno 1800 alongside and against your fellow human players can make for tense adventures.

So today, we want to talk about Anno 1800’s multiplayer mode, what options it gives players and also give you some interesting insights into how we make it possible to run an enormous simulation with more than one player.

Multiplayer – conquering the world with friends(?)
In Anno 1800’s multiplayer mode, up to four players can join a match to settle and conquer islands in an alliance or in a race against each other to reach the victory conditions first. Players can freely trade among each other, and with the possibility of trading any goods, they can decide if they want to start a trading conglomerate with specialized production on each side. And should you find yourself short of a full set of human players to stage a naval battle to rival Tsushima Strait, you can always fill any open slots with an AI character of your choice. This choice of how to approach the multiplayer is very important to us, no matter if you want to go for an ultra-competitive race to be the first to construct a battlecruiser squadron, or if you want to play a relaxed Sunday afternoon match with some old friends.

And since this is a question that came up many times in the past: Yes, the multiplayer mode supports the full range of gameplay options in Anno 1800, including the second session in the New World! So will be the first to settle a tropical island?

Starting and victory conditions
There are several game modifier which allows you to set the stage for the game experience.
Alliance with shared victory conditions – You can start the match with an active alliance pact between all players and shared victory conditions. This allows for a truly collaborative effort for players who want to work together as a team.
Alliance without shared victory conditions – This game mode enforces peaceful matches between players while encouraging economic competition thanks to the personal victory conditions.
Free-for-all – A free-for-all, with no shared victory conditions and no active trading or alliance treaties. In this mode, it is solely up to you how the world (and your fellow players) will remember you.

And while it can be fun to build and expand for hours on end, we know that some players prefer a more defined game experienced with a clear goal. That is why we have the same set of victory conditions as in the Sandbox mode, such as being the first to construct a monument, reaching X amount of investors of generating a positive revenue of X. You will also be able to select whether players have to reach one or all of these goals to emerge victorious from your online match.

Custom sessions and the new quick match mode
Anno 1800 will offer two game modes to set up games, either allowing you to invite friends into your custom sessions, or to be paired up with random players via matchmaking.

You can either create or join a custom made multiplayer match, where the creator of the session can take full advantage of all custom settings of the classic sandbox experience. Once you set your various parameters and decided which AI should populate your island space, you can invite up to three players from your friend list to your match. And if there is this one friend of a friend who wants to join you, players who join also have the rights to invite players from their friend list. The game mode supports a maximum amount of 4 players in total, which also includes AI opponents who can fill the ranks of missing players.

Our new Quick Match mode will match you with random players around the world in preset multiplayer sessions. The presets allow you to look either for a match with two, three or four players or alternatively just look with “Random” where a slot is available in any of the three presets. Unlike in custom matches, you won’t have any non-player characters in Quick Match other than NPC traders and every game mode comes with preset victory conditions.

Under the hood – large scale multiplayer simulation
Simulating a vast and complex strategy game like Anno 1800 in a multiplayer match is quite a challenging task. To make it possible, we make use of a “lock-step” mechanism, a system which allows simulating the whole game state on every single PC and as a result of that minimizes the amount of data traffic between the players.

In case the game states of the players will differ at some point in time, the game will detect it (we call it a desync) and immediately provide a simple one-click solution to repair the game state with automatic synchronization of all parties participating in a match.

You will be able to save the state of the game to continue the match with your friends at another time or to switch hosts if the initial creator of the session is not available. This also means that when you are creating a session from a previous multiplayer savegame, players in the lobby can decide which island to control during the game. And if you cannot remember the party of friends from your last session anymore, we will display the players which played with you before.

This large-scale simulation and synchronization process is also the reason why fast-forward is not available in multiplayer sessions. Speeding up the simulation would have a big performance impact on the CPU of each player. However, you will be able to pause a multiplayer game to allow everyone to take a break or get a refill of your favorite beverage.

Build an empire together
While the Anno multiplayer experience always had its vocal fans across the years, we hope that with Anno 1800, more players will team up to experience the game together. We received a lot of valuable feedback during the technical test and Closed beta, giving us ample data we currently use to improve the multiplayer experience for the launch of the game.

And as your feedback is always important to us: While there won’t be a classic Co-Op mode in the game at launch, we will add it as part of our post-launch plans for Anno 1800.
#coopiscoming

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