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Volker Wertich, creator of popular strategy city-building game The Settlers, returns to his roots with Pioneers of Pagonia, which is set to release in early access for PC later in 2023.

Pioneers of Pagonia promises to be the “ultimate game world simulation” and is said to feature over 40 different buildings as well as over 70 types of goods and resources. You need to set up efficient production chains and establish an economy as you explore surrounding lands full of secrets. Hostile animals, plundering bandits, and even mythical creatures threaten your people, so their defense is another area for you to consider. Pioneers of Pagonia features procedurally generated maps to enhance replayability.

Artwork showing a small fantasy village.

Pioneers of Pagonia seems to lean strongly into fantasy.

“Enjoy the fantastical and inviting world of Pagonia, where your carefully considered decisions cause thousands of bustling inhabitants to satisfy your orders. Every transport of goods, manufacturing process and discovery your people make is comprehensible and presented with lovely animations in this ultimate game world simulation”, the Steam page of the game reads.

Concept art depicting some small towns prominently showcase roads, which were an important gameplay element in early The Settler games, as villagers could only use constructed pathways to transport goods. The fantasy element is also very visible.

Pioneers of Pagonia will be a single-player game initially, though a co-op mode is also being worked on.

“With Pioneers of Pagonia, we return to the origins of the building simulation genre with thousands of inhabitants scurrying about and concentrate entirely on the in-depth simulation of the game world and economy that the community loves so much”, Wertich commented.

He will lead the project at his award-winning German studio, Envision Entertainment, as creative director. Wertich was the game designer and a programmer on The Settlers and The Settlers 3, two of the best-received entries into the series.

Any iteration after The Settlers 4 had little in common with the four original games, however, with fans bemoaning the franchise's departure from the classic formula ever since.

Ubisoft’s latest attempt to bring the brand back to its former glory, The Settlers: New Allies, is set for release on February 17, 2023, after suffering a troubled development. Pioneers of Pagonia might well be able to capitalize on that misfortune.