I apologise for the Seinfeld moment, but what's with games dropping numbers from titles? The Settlers series got up to its seventh (admittedly with a couple Name: Subtitles) before returning us to 'The Settlers'. Still, at least a new one is on the way, announced at Gamescom and due for release in autumn 2019. Also announced- presumably to cause further confusion - was The Settlers History Collection, due in November. It's a compilation of all seven games in Blue Byte's city-builder series so far, "improved and optimized for modern PC systems". See their trailers below.
Here's our first peek at the new Settlers game, and some large infantry battles aside, it looks like familiar, comforting town-building fun, with a few nice detail animations on top of what we're used to. While we don't know too much about how the new Settlers plays, Ubisoft and Blue Byte promise "familiar gameplay mechanics", with "a new food system and a motivational meta-game". Quite what the latter means is anyone's guess, but I'd not be surprised to see an Anno-styled regular trickle of mission objectives even in casual play.
Also, here's the trailer for The Settlers History Collection, charting the evolution of a little cartoon villager into a pseudo-realistic human being, and back into caricature once more. It's no real surprise that nobody talks much about The Settlers: Heritage of Kings. Not only was it the first to stop counting numbers, but it was just a bit grey and stuffy, even if it did have dragons.
If you're new to the series, The Settlers games are town-builders with a major focus on production chains. The farmer grows wheat, which is carried to the mill, which is turned into flour, which travels to the baker to turn into bread which feeds the hard-working folks who gather wood and stone for further expansion. While the series has never been focused on combat, there is the occasional rumble with rival towns, although given the fragile nature of production chains, even a small fight can have catastrophic knock-on effects.
While Ubisoft have announced no hard dates on either release, they're shooting for an autumn launch for the new Settlers, and a November release for The Settlers History Collection.