Manor Lords isn't getting the much-requested bubonic plague as the medieval city builder's creator thinks "plague and disease are not real game mechanics"

A village in Manor Lords.
(Image credit: Slavic Magic)

Manor Lords creator and lead developer Greg Styczeń has responded to the demand to introduce the bubonic plague to the medieval city builder, and simply put, it's not happening, which is sure to be a relief for our villagers.

Responding to one fan on Twitter, Styczeń says that while the idea of adding plague and disease "seemed interesting at first," as far as he's concerned, they're "not real game mechanics" that could fit into Manor Lords. Elaborating on this, it sounds like this is largely thanks to the city builder's medieval setting, which would make controlling disease in a realistic and interesting way rather difficult. 

"Imagine a zombie city builder. The Last of Us Lords," Styczeń explains. "You could build quarantine zones, control checkpoints, build research centers, capture zombies to make vaccines, enact contagion laws etc etc. Now that's a disease system.

"The medieval plague however... It happens randomly, and kills people," he continues. "Building a bathhouse won't save them. Quarantine zones don't fit the medieval theme, and alternatives like making herbs were never an interesting mechanic to the players cause it's mostly one-dimensional."

He adds that, as it stands, Manor Lords' villagers can already get sick, which stops them from working. While herbs can be used to make them recover faster, Styczeń says: "I think most players don't notice it, [because] it's not interesting or deep, or measurable, not something the player can actively manage. Sanitation level could become a mechanic though."

Styczeń's explanation does make sense – it's hard to imagine players finding it particularly fun to see the plague tearing through their cities with no way to stop it when containment methods could break the immersion of the city builder's setting. However, the developer clearly hasn't ruled out the idea of adding a sanitization mechanic, so that might end up being an addition in the future. 

Speaking of new features, last week Styczeń said that "it'd be a nice time to go into the 'dev cave' and do some more fun experiments and changes to push the game forward and finally add some new features." Could that mean some new additions might be on the way to Manor Lords sometime in the future? Here's hoping, but we'll just have to watch this space for now.

For more games like Manor Lords, be sure to check out our roundup of the 15 best city building games.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.