Encore signs Ascaron games

Ascaron's Patrician III and Pirate Hunter find a US publisher.

In the latest in a string of publishing announcements this week, Encore has announced that it has signed a deal to release Patrician III and Pirate Hunter. Both games offer a blend of trading and naval combat and build on Ascaron's success with Patrician II and Port Royale.

"We are thrilled that Ascaron has entrusted the success of Pirate Hunter and Patrician III to Encore," said Michael Bell, Encore's CEO. "These high-quality games are a perfect fit in our third-party publishing program."

Patrician III has players assume the role of a medieval Hanseatic League trader and improves on the series' proven gameplay with a new map editor, the ability for players to establish two additional customizable towns, new land trading routes, and five difficulty levels. The visuals have also been enhanced with weather effects and more-detailed ship models.

Based on Port Royale, Pirate Hunter takes place on the Caribbean Sea in the 16th and 17th centuries. The game is more focused on pirate hunting missions than Port Royale, and features 16 detailed and open-ended scenarios, plus four nations to side with, and 12 different ship types.

Both games will be released this holiday season. Patrician III will retail for $40 and Pirate Hunter for $30.

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