Creator: Paradox Interactive
"A patch is never late! Nor is it ever early. It arrives precisely when I mean it to do!"Paradox Interactive
—Johan "The Wizard" Andersson
(not to be confused with Paradox Entertainment
, from which it split off) is a Swedish
computer-game developer, generally focusing on historical Real-Time Strategy
games. Unlike most Real-Time Strategy
games, the Paradox games tends to have a greater focus on the Grand Strategic level, you control not individual units but the resources of entire nations.
Paradox games are (in)famous for being buggy at release, having a cliff-side learning curve and comparatively unimpressive graphics except in the newest Hearts of Iron
and the second Victoria
(which on the upside gives them relatively modest graphics card requirements, but since there's so many AI calculations going on a powerful CPU is a must), and not being "complete" until after they've gotten an Expansion Pack
or two. On the other hand the support tends to be decent, with patches for the aforementioned bugs available soon after release. Also, the games' complexity offers a great deal of replay value. The massive variety of Game Mods
available (and the ease of creating your own, as most of the key data is stored as .txt files with fairly intuitive code
) also helps.
Paradox Interactive also acts as a publisher for various other companies and publishes games from a wide variety of genres, e.g. the Penumbra
, Mount & Blade
, the Magicka
series, and Dungeonland
Games and series developed by Paradox Interactive:
- Svea Rike ("The Swedish Realm") : An Edutainment Game focusing on Swedish history. Sort of a predecessor to their later historically-themed games.
- Europa Universalis: The flagship franchise of the company, focusing on the period of roughly 1400-1820. Currently in its fourth instalment.
- ForTheGlory: Another EU Spin-Off, made by fans of the game and based on the older engine of EU II.
- Magna Mundi: An ambitious mod that later became a full-blown commercial game after the release of Divine Wind. Currently in Development Hell/Development Limbo/Cancelled. Might be released as an unsupported beta.
- March Of The Eagles: Described as a cross between Europa Universalis (in style and time period) and Hearts of Iron (for being focused on a short era and having advanced combat)
- Crusader Kings: Focusing on The High Middle Ages, 1066-1400. Later followed by a sequel. Crusader Kings 2 covering the same time period but with updated game mechanics.
- Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun ("Vicky"): Starts with the first full year of Queen Victoria's reign (1838) and ends with World War I. The Expansion Pack Revolutions ("Ricky") ends when Hearts of Iron starts. Victoria 2 starts earlier (1836) and instead triggers Queen Victoria's coronation as an in-game event 2 years into your game. An expansion for the sequel, A House Divided added a 1861 start date and introduced several new mechanics, such as foreign investment, new westernization, and an improved military interface. A further expansions Heart of Darkness revamped the colony system and added a 'crisis' system to the game, in addition to various other tweaks.
- Pop Demand Mod/A Pop Divided: An extensive game mod for Victoria II that completely overhauls the game's economy, as well as greatly increases the historical depth and scope. Many features from this mod (such as Taiping China and the Great War mechanic) later got put into A House Divided
- Hearts of Iron: A diplomatic and strategic wargame focusing on World War II. Has had two sequels. Along with Europa Universalis, this is Paradox's other major title. The third installment currently has three expansions, and a fourth game has been announced.
- Darkest Hour: an independent update/expansion of Hearts of Iron II, including a World War I scenario covering 1914 to 1922, and a 1933 to 1963 scenario.
- East vs. West: a grand strategy game covering the Cold War from 1946 to 1991. It was advertised as a Heart of Iron game, but given how different the Cold War was from World War II, whether this game would have been similar in gameplay to HoI or not is a matter of speculation. Ultimately, however, it was cancelled on March 6th, 2014.
- Kaiserreich Legacy Of The Weltkrieg: Another popular Game Mod for Hearts of Iron II that explores an alternate timeline where the Central Powers won World War One, among other changes.
- Runemaster, an upcoming Role-Playing Game based on Norse Mythology.
The games also boast an active community of writers of After Action Reports
. An interesting feature is the ability to import your saves from one game to another
using official or unofficial software tools or (if you have a lot of time and patience) manually, theoretically allowing you to play the same game from 769 to 1963.