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Interview with the illustrious Artur Gasparov

It was an exciting election, with the crème de la crème of Anno’s aspiring governors coming together to fight for your vote during the big Anno Union NPC election. Without a doubt, it was the visionary Artur Gasparov who took your collective hearts by storm, but not without some controversy. Several months have passed since then and we finally managed to get Mr. Gasparov agreeing to an exclusive Anno Union interview.

Before we have a chance to sit down and talk, Mr. Gasparov gets the obligatory tour of the studio. Disappointed by the lack of notable architectural features, he shows me his chin. As I pass Mr. Gasparov a mug of machine coffee in the hope it soothes him, I begin to get a sense of the person behind the opulent facade.
Basti: Mr. Gasparov, you’ve been elected by the Anno Union to join the ranks of AI characters. It was a tough competition, was it not?
Artur Gasparov: Not at all – I was streets ahead from the start. You would call it a landslide victory, but to me, it is altogether more dignified. To be honest, I am a little piqued not to have been among the original cast of characters – I am after all, the embodiment of originality. But…vox populi, and now I am their god elect!

BT: What should players expect from you?
AG: Demolition! Hoping to compete with the finest architect and city-planner in the entire Empire? They must be completely cuckoo! I will create the grandest, most sumptuous metropolis ever beheld by human eyes! My people will share my intense dedication to this vision, or else be made to! I will level any mountain that blocks my path! And if some interfering human player tries the same, rest assured, I shall make a great exhibition of them!

BT: Sounds like you have an aggressive, even militant outlook?
AG: No, no! I am a friend to all who treat me with due deference. Those who respect me, who fulfil my wishes, shall be rewarded appropriately! ‘Though of course, a chance to assist me is itself, the highest of rewards.

BT: Wow, that’s great. So do you know yet if there will be another member of the Jorgensen family in ANNO 1800?
AG: What?! I am here to talk about me – my divine draughtsmanship! What is this obsession with the numbskull Jorgensens? The Gasparov family tree goes back aeons – generation after generation of the Empire’s most enigmatic and impressive personages. Why does nobody inquire after my noble bloodline?

BT: Moving on swiftly-
AG: -do not sweep my heritage under your cheap rug!

BT: We don’t have rugs at Bluebyte.
AG: So I see, and no drapes, no plaster of Paris, no fluting, nor filigree.

BT: It’s great to meet someone who can open our eyes to art.

AG: Art cannot be seen, if it has not been lived! It is not enough to have a vision – one must be a vision!

BT: And what does this vision mean for the ordinary people?
AG: Ordinary people? Oh yes of course. The more ordinary the better! They will have an impossible amount of work to complete, in a ridiculously short amount of time, if we are to capture the spirit of the age.

BT: And what to you is the spirit of the age?
AG: Architectural Eclecticism.

BT: Care to elaborate?
AG: Always.

BT: Ok…that’s great. What about industrialization in the era, isn’t that a problem for an aesthete like you?
AG: A great problem! I need industry, furnaces to cast my elegy in fire. But such monstrous eyesores must be hidden in the hills! Why, oh why, must chimneys belch and fug my life?! Or warehouses weather me away like a church gargoyle? Why do mistuned orchestras of manufacture drown out their diva? This is the oily slick that smears my reflection in the pond, leaving my love for myself to go unrequited.

BT: Oh I think I hear the horse and carriage drawing up outside, how unfortunate. Thank you so much for your time Mr. Gasparov.
AG: Time is a precious commodity, even for the immortal.

We hoped you liked our interview- but entertainment was not our only intention! Anno is about more than just building cities; our goal is to immerse you in the industrial age with Interesting characters and a well-crafted narrative. Now, we want to hand the torch over to you in order light your creative minds in our first Anno Union story contest!

We want your take on the big Anno Union NPC vote, written in the role of the governor of your own island paradise. Whether it is a personal role-play style letter, your own newspaper article or even a whole story about how you perceived and react to the results of the election, we leave it to your imagination and creativity!

The contest begins today and will end January 15th. At the end of the vote, we will pick the best three entries by early February. The form, length and whether you want to support it with some visual assets is entirely up to you. You can create your story either in English or German.

You can enter your stories in our Writing Contest thread in the Ubisoft forum: https://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1801690

The best three stories win a spotlight on the Anno Union and one of the following prices:
Place One: Signed Collector’s Edition of a previous Anno game
Place Two: Anno Goodie Bag, including some signed swag
Place Three: Game signed by the development team

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1701 Anniversary: Share your memories!

The Anno series first bustled onto gamer’s screens nearly two decades ago, and next week marks the anniversary for one of the biggest milestones in the history of the Anno series.

The release of Anno 1701 in the year 2006 was a big step for the series, an evolution from the first two 2D isometric titles into the third dimension of gaming. It is also a very special game for us here at Ubisoft Blue Byte Mainz, as it was the first time that we (under our original name Related Designs) got our hands on the steering wheel of this storied franchise.

Many of those developers are still a part of the team today and they incorporate their experiences into the development of the upcoming Anno 1800. We love to reminisce in memories about the development of the older games and what they have contributed to the series as a whole.
And with these trips down memory lane, we remembered that many of you guys where already a part of our community  back then while newer fans might have also interesting experiences when going back to try out one of the older Anno games.

And here comes the call to action:
Share your Anno 1701 memories, anecdotes or creations such as videos, screenshots or fan art!

What was the first things you did or remembered when starting to play Anno 1701? How about some funny or beloved memories you connect with the first Anno in 3D and why is Anno 1701 still an important game for you as a fan of the series?
We hope that you have plenty of comments or creations to share with the union. You can also post videos, screenshots, stories and other fan art in our Ubisoft fan creation topic:  http://forums.ubi.com/showthread.php/1760804-Moving-Pictures-We-are-looking-for-Fanvideos-and-streams!

The best entries will get their own spotlight during next week’s Anno 1701 anniversary celebrations. We are curious and excited and wish you all a great weekend!

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