French publisher Ubisoft has announced that multi-million-selling strategy series The Settlers will be returning for its fifth instalment before the end of 2004 courtesy of German developer Blue Byte.
The latest entrant in the series aims to switch the game over to a 3D engine without sacrificing the style of the original titles, although producer Benedikt Grindel says the developer has been looking for a new direction within the bounds of what has come before.
"After listening to feedback from Settlers fans," he said today, "we believe we succeeded in renewing the franchise by adding many new gameplay and design elements while keeping the essence of Settlers."
Part of that renewal involves taking the series into a medieval setting, where the player will aim to re-conquer a kingdom in the grip of a tyrant. Sadly though other than that all we have to go on is a pair of screenshots showing off an impressive level of terrain detail, and the promise of more details to come via the official Settlers website.
Expect to hear more about The Settlers 5 (or whatever it winds up as) in the run up to E3 in Los Angeles this May.