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Hooded Horse defends Manor Lords’ early access against criticism

In this post:

  • Hooded Horse, Manor Lords’ publisher, responded to early access critiques, stating that the game is a success.
  • The Steam city-building strategy game gained over 2 million sales in the first three weeks.
  • The game has maintained a Steam review score of 88% from more than 40,000 published ratings.

Hooded Horse CEO Tim Bender posted on LinkedIn to respond to criticism after Manor Lords launched just under three months ago. Bender’s post highlighted that critiques have set an ever-rising standard of expectations that hinder development and destroy the mental health of developers.

Also read: Apple approves Epic Games’ marketplace in the E.U. after a public call-out 

According to Tim Bender, Manor Lords is a success in the making. Bender’s post on LinkedIn highlighted that the game’s early access sold 2 million copies in the first three weeks after its release. 

According to Bender, the game sold an additional 250,000 copies in the last month despite being an Early Access edition. Manor Lords has maintained a positive rating on Steam, averaging 88% from more than 43,000 reviews. 

Tim Bender responds to critics

Tim claimed that the game’s median playtime is over 8 hours for each player. At its peak, the game recorded 173,000 concurrent players.

Hooded Horse defends Manor Lords’ early access against criticism
Custom village from a player. Source: Manor Lords

Bender explained that before Early Access was released to the public, he informed the developer that commenters would be quick to judge his work and label the game as a ‘failure’ due to a high standard of expectations. Bender concluded his response post by stating that the industry needs to shed pessimistic approaches like the one he responded to.

If this industry is to find a more sustainable path forward, we need to move away from takes like the one below (Raphael van Lierop’s post). 

Tim Bender

A critique goes after Manor Lords’ Early Access

Bender’s LinkedIn post was a response to a comment from a LinkedIn user (Raphael van Lierop). Lierop referred to the game as a “case study in the pitfalls of Early Access” coincidentally connected to a hungry audience. 

The critique mentioned that Manor Lords, being a system-centric game, should have a wide range of maps, proc-gen dynamism, and complex game modes to make it competitive and interesting to players. The LinkedIn user claimed that after playing the game for 5–10 rounds, it becomes monotonous, and there is nothing new to do.

A heavily systems-centric game needs either a range of maps, game modes, or some amount of proc-gen dynamism to keep it fresh. Manor Lords has none of those things. So once you played 5–10 rounds of the game, there’s nothing more to do.

Raphael van Lierop

Raphael continued to critique the team behind the game’s development. He stated that the Manor Lords team is small, which has resulted in the game’s slow development and progress. Lierop added that the team is so small that they couldn’t keep up with the demand that the game is experiencing post-early access launch. 

Also read: Elden Ring DLC becomes the best-reviewed RPG expansion game

Manor Lords was released on April 26th as a solo-developer project. The game was developed by Greg “Slavic Magic” Styczeń and has since become an internet sensation among many in the gaming community. The developer stated that the game is expected to stay in the Early Access timezone for a year as he works on the game’s shortcomings.


Cryptopolitan reporting by Collins J. Okoth

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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