Playside Games has announced the second title to be released under its PlaySide Publishing label, a medieval city-building and real-time-strategy game for PC called Thrive: Heavy Lies the Crown.
Developed by Canadian studio Zugalu Entertainment, Thrive looks to mix difficult choices and consequences from 4X and grand strategy games, as well as incorporating four-player multiplayer, on top of solo play.
Development on the game began in 2019, and the game was officially announced in 2021, when it was also the recipient of production funding from the Canada Media Fund.
Thrive joins the PlaySide Publishing roster following Dynasty of the Sands, an Ancient Egyptian-themed city-building game whose partnership with PlaySide was announced in May 2023.
Branden Sloane, CEO of Zugalu Entertainment told GamesHub that the studio signed with PlaySide Publishing because of its ‘genuine understanding and resonance’ with the team’s vision for the game. ‘Their collaborative approach and emphasis on long-term partnership made it an easy decision for us,’ he said.
Sloane also remarked that Thrive is also attempting to combat the ‘perfect city’ traits of other city-building games with their Benevolent and Tyrannical gameplay systems, which will alter the state of player cities and their inhabitants, and hopefully encourage replayability and experimentation.
Harley Homewood, Head of Publishing at PlaySide, said that Thrive had ‘instant appeal’, offering a ‘relatively unique blend of features’ including the decision-making system and multiplayer capabilities.
On the initial strategy game focus of the publisher’s first two titles, Homewood said that Playside is ‘actively investigating titles from a range of publishers and genres’ as it starts building its portfolio.
‘Game quality is at the forefront of all of our partnerships, so in the case of Dynasty of the Sands and now Thrive: Heavy Lies the Crown, we can see two very different city-builders that will appeal to different audiences.’
‘Dynasty of the Sands is an Ancient Egypt-inspired creative/survival city-builder with a serene, zen-like tone, while Thrive: Heavy Lies the Crown adds some unique twists to the genre via RTS and 4X-inspired elements.’
Thrive is currently aiming for a 2024 launch on Steam Early Access, with a beta in 2023. You can wishlist Thrive: Heavy Lies the Crown on Steam.