• Union Update

Union Update: That was 2017!

Looking back on our journey, the last four month were an incredibly exciting and sometimes tense journey. The Anno Union started with a vision and like the great explorers of old, we always believed in our idea but nobody could foresee where the journey would lead us along the way.
The Anno Union is still sailing strong and we are confident that our fleet is on the right track, thanks to all the amazing support from our Anno fans.

We want to close the first chapter of the Anno union and the year 2017 with a short recap of everything that has happened so far. This was just the beginning, and we hope that you are as excited for 2018 as we are!  We will be back with new content for you all in January, and however you spend the festive season, we hope you will have a great time!

The great Gamescom Announcement
How would it turn out? We were confident that our fans would enjoy the 19th century setting of our new game, but the Anno Union was still a big experiment for us. And yes, I can tell you that seeing the positive reactions to the surprise announcements of Anno 1800 and the Union were quite the rush for all of us. However, it was only the opening salvo, and over the following weeks and months, we worked with you all to shape the Anno union into what it is today.

The spirit of the Union
To start things off, we had a lot of ground work to cover. Game development is a complex science, and even game ideas that are great on their own ill not necessarily result in a great game when combines with hundreds of others. Reacting to your questions, feedback and even skepticism was our answer and helped us to improve the program. It is an ongoing journey, where we listen and improve, while you react and inspire. As we are getting closer to our release, let us all push the Union forward together to become a great community hub even beyond the launch of Anno 1800.

DevBlogs – a look behind the curtain
Having exclusive looks behind the scenes is surely exciting but that was not our only intent. Game development is a complex task and an Anno title is a collaborative effort of a big development team. We have seen countless great ideas from our community but adding all of them to a game would end up in a development process, which would probably never end. So we decided to give you insights, explain how we set up our development roadmap, how we evaluate your feedback and even gave you a detailed look on the production processes.
From concept art to logistics, we will continue to give you more artistic and informative insights into Anno 1800 and its features. Of course, this important foundation will also give you the needed knowledge to impact development and it enables us to ask you, true Anno experts and veterans, for very specific feedback on certain game elements.

Alpha Cake! We got to treat ourselves sometimes, right?

Votes, Feedback and Improvements
With the Anno Union, we promised to give you exclusive insights in the development process while your feedback should help us to shape the game during development.
Not surprisingly, you definitely knew how to deliver on your end. In the first week alone, we received countless comments and feedback on our game direction and the Union. But how would your feedback actually improve the game?
With our first Vote, we had you decide about the last AI character in the game, while additional development votes would be our weapon of choice to let you have the final word on specific aspects of the game. As such, the first Union vote was only the kick-off, as we soon after decided to let you have more creative impact with the voting for the world fair event.
So Mr. Gasparov was first and it is safe to say that the visionary architect appreciates that you decided that the Urbanism Exhibition will be the fourth event for our world fair monument!

In the future, we want to mix things up further, ranging from votes where you help us decide on certain content to having an impact and influence on future votings.
With our blogs, you gave us constant quality feedback in our comments and started further discussions in our forums. Since then, that feedback has fueled our development meetings, from the production team discussing your ideas up to Union sentiment becoming constant topic in our big milestone and other team meetings.
While the Union greatly benefited the game from the get go, we will utilize that power in our communities even further with upcoming playtests and future improvements to the Union program.

The first stream
The idea for a stream was born in the early days of the Union but building the streaming room, working on a concept and finding ideas how we can talk about the development and show you the game was not always an easy task. There is one thing I have learned over the years: no matter how many times you setup a streaming room and prepare a show, something can and probably will go wrong.
But break a leg, the first AnnoCast was a well-received success and we knew that there is potential to talk about the state of the development and to show you the progress we made. This year was a test-run and with the latest reveal of gameplay, we look forward to upcoming episodes and further production updates. Besides the AnnoCast, we will also continue to celebrate anniversaries of a game series, which will already turn 20 in the upcoming year. There might be the one or another idea for a special episode?

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Did you miss our big gameplay reveal stream? We got you covered!

Alpha and Union Playtest
Showing the state of the game is one thing but to let you actually play the game allows us to get pinpoint feedback on the game experience. And as we just achieved Alpha status with the game, we are ready to use that feedback to its full potential. Over the course of the next year, we will continue to utilize community feedback via the Union, forum, votes or surveys but the Alpha is also the time when feedback from Union playtests matter. So keep an eye on the Union for future updates about upcoming playtests and other events.

More to come…
The year 2017 already felt like a tour de force but things will get even more exciting next year, as every month will bring us closer to the long awaited launch. Beside continuous DevBlogs, streams and playtests, we want to improve existing formats and bring you new content to the Union. More support for fan projects, more ways for you to interact with us and to let your creative energy loose. The great entries to our story contest alone shows us that there is so much potential for great creations in the Union.

And in the spirit in the Union, where we all work together to create a true Anno game for the fans, what are your wishes and ideas for the Union in 2018? What was your favorite Union moment, what would you like to see us doing more or is there something we could improve or even which is currently missing? Share your thoughts about the start of our journey and things to come with us and we cannot wait to come back to you after the holiday season!

Happy Holidays,
Your Anno Team





  1. r ruuti0 December 26, 2017

    Thank you for developing my favorite game series and good new year for you all (and merry christmas)!

    I think that getting more community votes for different options is good idea!

    So far it looks that Anno 1800 is going to really good direction and it is really nice that you also listen community!

  2. F FeiXiangDEQiYu December 22, 2017

    1701沉睡之龙 1404威尼斯 2070深海
    有人在大声的疾呼,停车,停车……… 但是,没有注意到这渺小的呐喊!汹涌的海浪拍打着堤坝。如同海啸一般。吞噬所有靠近所有的生灵!


  3. J Johnnymac34 December 22, 2017

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

    I look forward to more of the same for 2018 and just seeing the game progress. It was an absolute thrill to watch the live stream on December 14th.

    I like reading all the articles about the development behind the scenes. Still makes me realize how fun it would be to design.

    Looking forward to hopefully being part of a beta and trying the game out first hand.

    Keep up the great work, all of us Anno fans appreciate being included in such a manner.


    John Macdonald

  4. K Knurr_ December 22, 2017

    Have a great Holiday! Can’t wait to see what you guys have to show us in 2018!

  5. b banan1996.1996 December 19, 2017

    I wish you happy holidays as well! Have some good rest, you’ll need it to create the best Anno ever 😀

    About the Union: I really like the idea of streams and seeing how you guys play (I have to admit though – so far you played awfully xD). I hope to see Bastian in front of the keyboard at least once! ^^

    I am really looking forward to more Anno 1800 streams, I really can’t wait to play the game – so hyped.

    I definately would like to see more examples of how our feedback helps you creating the game. I just want to know things like: we read about this idea of our Anno fans, we discussed it with the whole team and it’s awesome, we’ll add this to the game or we won’t because it wouldn’t be Anno. So I am not talking about votings or things which you ask us about in blogs. I would like to know more about you considering community’s ideas and what comes out of it.

    When you started the Anno Union I was afraid that we would be asked of one or two things and that would be all. But you post two entries every week, I really see your devotion and willingness to cooperate with your fans. I must say I was positively surprised!

    Keep up the good work! 🙂

  6. p palemale53 December 19, 2017

    Merry Christmas, peeps. Recharge those batteries. You have a busy year ahead!

  7. A AmpeImann December 19, 2017

    Can’t wait to watch the community and the game develop in 2018!


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