View Full Version : Why is my empire still called a company?

10-05-2018, 04:33 AM
Recently, while looking at the Anno 1800 Delux Edition in the Ubisoft store I saw this picture:

In the bottom right corner the graphic promises "Exclusive Company Logos". So from that I assume my creation in Anno 1800 will still be called a company, the same as in the two previous installments.

In a futuristic setting I kind of understood why they used this designation, yet I never particularly liked it. The whole corporate metaphor always felt very abstract or maybe sterile and actually reduced my emotional investment into my creation. Compared to my inhabitants, my people, I don't care as much about my employees and I feel less responsibility towards them.

So with Anno 1800 going back to a historic setting I hoped they would drop this corporate metaphor but from the looks of it that's no the case, unfortunately.

Why is my creation not called my empire / kingdom / nation? Perhaps Ubisoft is afraid of evoking negative associations with real historic imperialistic empires? But then again that's sort of exactly what Anno 1800 tries to resemble and I doubt calling it something else will fool anybody.

Maybe my concerns are completely unfounded and those logos are only called company logos in this advertisement. If you know anything of the sort please let me know.

However, if that's indeed the final in game designation I'd be interested how you feel about such a corporate metaphor and if you share my objections.

10-05-2018, 07:46 AM
I think you really underestimate the power companies had in those days.
They came very very nearly to the power of countries themselfs.
Good examples are the east india trading company or the dutch v.o.c. or many more but i'm also not a historian.

10-05-2018, 03:22 PM
I know a lot of people don’t like large global companies, especially not when they have a lot of power. Still, what you do in Anno are typical things companies do. You build houses, factories, etc. You also do a lot trading and you apparently decide in Anno 1800 the working conditions of your workforce. Those are not things that a kings or emperors do. Especially not western European countries in the 19th century.

How I feel about that? I don’t mind, actually I like it.

10-05-2018, 06:01 PM
I do not want to make a point about historic accuracy. I can see how both metaphors are somewhat historically plausible but both fall short in many ways as well.
The Anno gameplay realistically resembles neither leading a company nor governing an actual country.

For me it was always this naively glorified notion of an absolute ruler who has absolute power and directly manages all aspects of society. You have to actively build every building, every street, you set taxes, produce, trade and transport all consumption goods for your people, you even manage leisure through public buildings. You conduct diplomacy and defend your cities from enemies.

I believe my key problem with the corporate metaphor is the following:
At its core Anno revolves around your population. The duty to secure the well-being of your people is best represented through the state. That's exactly our perception of a good ruler.
A company on the other hand has primarily the goal of making profits. However, making lots of money isn't really the final goal in Anno. Obviously, a good boss should also care about their employees, yet for a company employees are ultimately a means to another end not an end in themselves.

So that's why I reject this corporate metaphor as it disregards the central role of my population in my opinion.

10-06-2018, 01:37 PM
I actually hope we can do alot more with our money so the goal to earn lot's of money becomes more important with more interesting rewards.

11-26-2018, 06:36 PM
At its height the East India Company employed more soldiers, sailors, architects, logisticians, combat-worthy and shipping vessels, trade stations, ship-builders, 'factorys' -- even missionaries (and the like) than Queen Victoria's/ Parliament's (state) assets could muster.

From its faltering beginnings in the Spice Islands to the EIC's reach covering a third of the globe, the corporate bent here I believe to be bulls-eye relevant.

I hope you can eventually reconcile your differences with the game's modus operandi. o7

11-26-2018, 11:31 PM
As Ardashir says that was company time.

"By 1803, at the height of its rule in India, the British East India company had a private army of about 260,000—twice the size of the British Army, with Indian revenues of 13,464,561, and expenses of 14,017,473. The company eventually came to rule large areas of India with its private armies, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions. Company rule in India effectively began in 1757 and lasted until 1858, when, following the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the Government of India Act 1858 led to the British Crown's assuming direct control of the Indian subcontinent in the form of the new British Raj." -Wikipedia

1800 I want to challenge the EIC, not the pesky British Empire.