A crowning moment for PlaySide Publishing and Zugalu Entertainment

PlaySide Publishing is thrilled to announce its second publishing deal in under four months.
Jan 24, 2024 3:34 AM
Originally posted Aug 28, 2023

PlaySide Publishing is thrilled to announce its second publishing deal in under four months.

Partnering with Canada-based Zugalu Entertainment, Thrive: Heavy Lies the Crown will launch into Early Access in 2024 on Steam, with sign-ups also opening for its 2023 Beta via Discord.

A strong allegiance

Founded in 2014 by game designers Branden Sloane and Greg Forsyth, Zugalu Entertainment is an indie game development studio based in Calgary, Canada dedicated to creating innovative and immersive games.

Branden Sloane, Co-Founder & CEO at Zugalu Entertainment said Thrive: Heavy Lies the Crown is the culmination of ten years of work and evolution for the Albertan studio.

What is Thrive: Heavy Lies the Crown?

Thrive: Heavy Lies the Crown is a medieval fantasy city-builder with real-time combat and weighty decision-making. As a new ruler, you and the survivors of Aldamor travel to the curious land of Nysamor in search of a new home. Together, you will work to raise up a great kingdom, and define your legacy.

“All decisions matter in Thrive: Heavy Lies the Crown. Will you be a kind or cruel ruler? Your choices will directly affect the society you create and the world around you. Choose wisely and help your kingdom thrive,” said Sloane.

As ruler, you will lead your people through Benevolence or Tyranny, setting a course for the type of leader you will eventually become. Explore mysterious lands, establish a powerful military to fortify your dominion and engage in real-time combat to defend or expand your rule.

In addition to both AI and human forces, players will have to contend with the Waelgrim, the mystical and unpredictable entity that stalks the magical lands of Nysamor.

“It is rare in city-builder and strategy games that you are able to build your kingdom alongside your friends and have the choice to play cooperatively or competitively, we believe this is a feature that really sets Thrive: Heavy Lies the Crown apart,” said Sloane.

Canada Media Fund Recognition

Thrive: Heavy Lies the Crown was honored to be chosen for Canada Media Fund Production Funding during the 2020-2021 fiscal year, under the Experimental Stream (Commercial Projects Program). This rigorous selection process entails a comprehensive evaluation of a game's innovative features and market potential by 20 esteemed industry professionals from across the globe.  

With a team of passionate developers from Zugalu Entertainment and the team at PlaySide Publishing, we can’t wait to bring this incredible title to life.

Wishlist Thrive: Heavy Lies the Crown now on Steam, or join us on Discord, Twitter, Facebook or YouTube.

To learn more about Zugalu Entertainment, please visit