Creator / Paradox Interactive

"A patch is never late! Nor is it ever early. It arrives precisely when I mean it to do!"
Johan "The Wizard" Andersson

Paradox Interactive (not to be confused with Paradox Entertainment, from which it split off) is a Swedish computer-game publisher, which has a prominent internal development studio — Paradox Development Studio. The internal studio generally focuses 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.

Internal Paradox games were (in)famous for being buggy at release, having a cliff-side learning curve and comparatively unimpressive graphics , 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. And when a PDS game isn't bugging out and the player is experienced, the complexity brings depth that leads a great deal of replay value. PDS games also employs a game engine with fairly intuitive code), encouraging all to mod the game to their liking and and even attempt to fix the bugs themselves if one feels particularily codey, it's not unfair to say Paradox that is a strong proponet of Game Mods since the early days of the internet age.

With online gaming platforms like Steam taking off, Paradox Interactive and its studio finally hit double A status in the 2010's with their cult-followed niche and a strong back catalog, leading to the streamlining and cleaning-up of their games' interfaces and mechanics, alongside having a better and bigger QA team. The increase in accessibility and quality of their games is apparent when one compare a pre-2010 paradox game to a post-2010 one, with Victoria II being the turning point.

On the publishing side, they tend to go for niche but highly replayable titles from a wide variety of genres, e.g. the Penumbra, Mount & Blade, the Magicka series, Dungeonland, Cities: Skylines and Pillars of Eternity.

In October 2015, they announced they are buying White Wolf Publishing from its former owner, CCP Games.

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 II, expanding the beginning time periods into The Early Middle Ages with a 769 AD start.
  • 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: A Role-Playing Game based on Norse Mythology. Was scrapped for not being fun enough.
  • Airfix Dogfighter: A game where you pilot a miniature plane and partake in a war waged by two World War II-based factions of plastic scale models inside a large human house.
  • Stellaris, a space-based grand strategy game currently in development.

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.

Games published by Paradox Interactive