Your browser never looked so medieval.

Generally speaking, seeing a well-known franchise get adapted into a free-to-play game can be worrisome. While I won’t sit here and tell you that the coast is clear with Anno Online, it does look like Ubisoft and developer Blue Byte are making a concerted effort to do right by the Anno series. Featuring a host of strategy and simulation elements not unlike what we saw in previous entries, and a visual style fans will feel right at home with, it looks like the company found an effective way to bridge the gap.

At its core, Anno Online is a game about building the biggest and greatest medieval city you possibly can. If you keep your population satisfied, you’ll unlock new buildings and, for better or worse, new challenges. For example, areas with unhappy residents will be plagued by riots and unrest. But on a more positive note, happy citizens will celebrate in the streets of your city.

An expanding city needs resources, and that’s why you’ll have to claim nearby islands and establish trading routes. All of this will be taking place on a global scale, as you’ll be a part of a living, breathing world inhabited by other players. Though it’s not yet been revealed what the perks of doing so are, you’ll be able to visit your friends’ cities. Personally, I’m hoping you can incite riots and egg their houses.

Anno Online

A release date didn’t accompany the announcement, but a big ol’ “COMING SOON” banner on the game’s site leads me to believe that it will be released in the near future. Will you be a kindly ruler who abides by your citizens’ needs and wants? Or will you try to break the world record for Most Riots Ever Held in a Virtual City?

The choice is yours.