Manor Lords dev doesn't like calling the city builder "historically accurate" because "nothing truly is" and wants to find "a balance between gameplay and realism"

Manor Lords
(Image credit: Slavic Magic)

Manor Lords, the hot new city builder that just launched on Steam to stellar reviews, is inspired by real-life history, but its solo developer shies away from using the term "historically accurate" because he reckons nothing can truly be called that with any degree of certainty.

In an interview for Unreal Engine, Greg Styczeń, the developer singlehandedly running the show at Slavic Magic, expanded on his describing Manor Lords as a game that "prioritizes historical accuracy whenever possible," specifically as it relates to game mechanics that are "contrary" to that faithfulness to real-world history.

"Well, I don't think there is anything that is very 'contrary' left in the game at this moment, but I always say that the game is 'inspired by' history," said Styczeń. "Even historians advise that I should avoid using the term 'historically accurate' because nothing truly is. I try to find a balance between gameplay and realism, and I don't want it to become just a simulation or something. It should be a fun game. Usually we can find a compromise. Sometimes it can be a little annoying, but often it is inspirational and inspires true creativity so I can add mechanics (or visuals) that no other game has."

Historical accuracy, of course, has become something of a loaded term in recent years because of its frequent use as a scapegoat for lack of diversity in games, and while Styczeń didn't appear to reference that issue specifically, it's worthwhile context regardless.

Our full Manor Lords review is still a work-in-progress, but our early impressions are very encouraging indeed, with GR+ staff writer Jasmine Gould-Wilson calling it "one of the most impressive, ambitious city builders yet."

Steam's most-anticipated city-builder is set to make millions, but for Manor Lords' CEO, "I don't think the money weighs that heavily".

Jordan Gerblick

After scoring a degree in English from ASU, I worked as a copy editor while freelancing for places like SFX Magazine, Screen Rant, Game Revolution, and MMORPG on the side. Now, as GamesRadar's west coast Staff Writer, I'm responsible for managing the site's western regional executive branch, AKA my apartment, and writing about whatever horror game I'm too afraid to finish.