Anno Online was a free to play browser-based game created by Ubisoft Entertainment and Blue Byte Software. The premise of the game saw players create and grow their very own cities. It originally launched in April 2013 and servers were live until January 2018.
Creators Blue Byte Software had a strong pedigree of city-building online games, with their successful The Settlers Online title. This game launched the company from a 50-employee venture to one with over 300 employees. However, Anno Online was a very different title – larger in scope and simpler in terms of overall goal.
Players of Anno Online had to create a city and grow it to make it as big as possible. There were over 120 different types of buildings, and cities could house well over 800 buildings at once. Clearly, the scale of such cities allowed players to create all kinds of amazing infrastructures.
One of the most interesting features of Anno Online was that, depending on how you build your city, different areas would have different levels of happiness. The nobility lived in opulent structures, while peasants lived in hovels. Those who were happy celebrated in the streets, while the poor and downtrodden often rioted.
The flash-based game had a strong emphasis on multiplayer activities. Players had to band together to complete quests in order to build the very best structures available. These impressive building projects would often take days to complete. Of course, everyone started with humble beginnings. As you progressed through the game (and with the help of microtransactions), you could unlock new technology to help your campaign.
Anno Online received fairly regular updates until the end of 2017, adding new content and expanding the scope of the title. Players were sad to see the multiplayer strategy game come to an end in 2018.
For those who enjoyed city-building games and wanted a free to play title, Anno Online was a popular choice. Of course, there are now many other similar titles available, but few have the scope that this one did.