Solo developer behind Steam’s hit new city-builder Manor Lords says he got his studio name from a Witcher 3 vs Mass Effect meme

Manor Lords, the medieval city-builder that’s run rampant over Steam’s wishlist charts in recent weeks, was made by a single developer who named their studio after a Witcher 3 meme.

In an interview with Unreal , Manor Lords’ single developer, Greg Styczeń, was asked the story behind their studio name, Slavic Magic. It’s a pretty simple tale – Styczeń says he was inspired by a Witcher 3 meme that suggested that the game was built off the back of “vodka and slavic magic.” According to Styczeń, “it really resonated with me as an indie dev from Poland with a small budget but huge passion.”

The earliest example of that meme that I can find is from a 2017 9Gag post , which compared Mass Effect Andromeda’s awkward facial animations to a picture of Geralt of Rivia, suggesting that the former game was made with a $40-50 million budget, and the latter was the result of “vodka and Slavic magic.” There are several things worth unpicking from that meme, not least that The Witcher 3 struggled with several performance issues at launch, and had a total reported budget of $80 million. Accounting for marketing budgets, in fact, Andromeda and Wild Hunt cost comparative amounts to make, but don’t let facts get in the way of a good joke.

Nevertheless, Styczeń’s Witcher-fueled inspiration is far more wholesome than its source might suggest, and points to Poland’s growing impact on the global games industry; CD Projekt is certainly the headliner, but studios like Dying Light developer Techland also punch above their weight. As just one developer, Styczeń might not have quite the same reach as those games, but he’s evidence of the amazing grassroots and indie scenes that can spring up around major developers.

As as the hotly-anticipated city-builder hits Steam, check out our Manor Lords review.

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