The CEO of publishing house Hooded Horse, Tim Bender, does not agree that Manor Lords has fallen into the "early access trap." Earlier, this opinion was voiced by Hinterland Studio head Raphael van Lierop, who pointed to the rare release of updates and a decline in the game's online player base. According to Bender, none of this is a problem for Manor Lords.

Manor Lords

"Manor Lords sold 250,000 copies in the past month — and this after selling over 2 million copies in the first three weeks. It has a 'very positive rating' based on 88% positive reviews, and the median playtime is 8 hours and 48 minutes per person (a very long time for any game, especially one that was recently released). Players are happy, the developer is happy, and we as the publisher are insanely happy," wrote Bender on LinkedIn.

Bender believes that the idea of "infinite growth" in metrics only harms the gaming industry. Not every game is suited to a service model of development, where new content is released as frequently as possible. Work on games should not turn into a "treadmill that developers are forced to run on until their physical or mental health suffers." Bender warned the creator of Manor Lords, Greg Styczeń, before its release that he would hear a lot of criticism for releasing the game in an early access format. They said it would lose a lot and not perform well at release. The head of Hooded Horse advised the developer to ignore such statements and focus on his creative vision for the game.