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Arkane founder and former executive producer team up to form WolfEye Studios

Smart business moves and impressive expansion has propelled Paradox to new heights.

Paradox Interactive, the publisher behind Cities: Skylines, Stellaris, and Battletech, has released its end-of-year earnings report for 2019. The numbers point to an impressive year for the Stockholm-based company, which saw a 14% increase in its revenue compared to 2018. In total, revenue amounted to SEK 1.2 billion ($132 million) for 2019.

“2019 was a year characterized by preparation for the future,” Paradox CEO Ebba Ljungerud said in a statement. “During the year, we invested in game development, performed marketing activities, and built our organisation to give us the best possible conditions to develop and publish our upcoming games.”

It was the publisher’s back catalog of games that did most of the heavy lifting, especially in Q4. The report cites impressive performance from Battletech, Cities: Skylines, Europa Universalis IV, Hearts of Iron IV, and Stellaris as the main drivers of revenue for Paradox during the last quarter.

According to Carter Rogers, principal analyst at SuperData, Paradox has spent years polishing its reputation as a go-to publisher for PC strategy games, a genre that boasts little competition.

“Paradox has really established itself as the go-to company for PC strategy games, and its titles have limited competition—namely the Civilization and Total War franchises,” Rogers told GameDaily. “Since its games are treated like platforms that are supported for years, players are comfortable regularly purchasing downloadable content.”

Rogers said that while only 35% of U.S. PC gamers regularly play strategy games, this segment is extremely valuable and devoted, and are more likely to purchase additional in-game content.

Recently, Paradox made several games available through new distribution methods, including Xbox Game Pass for PC, which has helped to signal boost many of its most popular titles.

“A central part of our business is to offer our games through the distribution channels and business models that our players appreciate,” Ljungerud wrote. “Our most important distribution channel for over a decade is Steam…. At the same time, we know that player behavior changes over time and therefore it is important for us to continuously test new distribution channels.”

For Rogers, Paradox’s willingness to test out such distribution methods is a smart move.

“Paying for several years of additional content to ‘catch up’ might seem daunting to a new player,” he explained. “Publishers of online games like World of Warcraft have previously done things like make old expansion packs free in order to catch newcomers up. Subscription services are appealing to investors since they can lead to dependable, recurring revenue. They also reduce the pressure for every new game or expansion to be a hit.”

2019 saw the release of only two new games from Paradox: Age of Wonders: Planetfall and Imperator: Rome. However, several classic titles received substantial expansion content, including Prison Architect, Battletech, and Age of Wonders: Planetfall.

“In November, we released our first expansion for Prison Architect since we acquired the game and the brand in December 2018,” the statement reads. “In the same month, we also released our first expansion to Age of Wonders: Pla­netfall. It is also gratifying to see how our continuous improvement work with Imperator: Rome now has be­gun to yield concrete results. At the end of the fourth quarter, after a series of updates, Imperator: Rome reached its highest player numbers since launch, and the game has gone from mostly negative to most­ly positive user reviews on Steam.”

The resurgence in popularity for some of Paradox’s classic titles has resulted in record numbers in terms of player count; more than 4 million unique monthly users were reported across the entire portfolio, which is a 30% increase over 2018.

Recent years have seen a number of significant acquisitions and business moves for Paradox, including the purchase of White Wolf in 2015 and Harebrained Schemes in 2018. The publisher also opened Paradox Tectonic Berkeley, California last year.

Looking forward, in 2020, Paradox will be publishing Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 by Hardsuit Labs, Empire of Sin by Romero Games, and Crusader Kings III by Paradox’s own internal development studio.

Rogers said that the success of Bloodlines 2 is going to depend on a few factors. First, the sales expectations set by Paradox are going to be very important to investors and shareholders, and making that outlook attainable is key. Also of concern is the “immersive sim” elements of gameplay.

“The original game is considered a classic, and odds are the sequel will be a critical success,” Rogers commented. “The commercial picture, however, is less clear. Based on early previews, Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 looks like it has many elements commonly seen in ‘immersive sim’ games. Titles in this subgenre usually give players lots of options for overcoming obstacles and often have compact, but highly-detailed levels. Unfortunately, during this console generation, immersive sims such as Dishonored 2, Prey, Hitman 2 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided have not set the world on fire in terms of sales numbers.”

Paradox has shown impressive business aptitude in recent years as it has expanded its portfolio and smartly adapted to larger industry trends, and there’s no reason to believe that this will change in 2020. The company’s wheelhouse of grand strategy experiences is still very much a core part of its identity, but it’s casting a wider net these days, and the results speak for themself.

For more stories like this one delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to the GameDailyBiz Digest!

Sam, the Editor-in-Chief of GameDaily.biz, is a former freelance game reporter. He’s been seen at IGN, PCGamesN, PCGamer, Unwinnable, and many more. When not writing about games, he is most likely taking care of his two dogs or pretending to know a lot about artisan coffee. Get in touch with Sam by emailing him at sdesatoff@rektglobal.com or follow him on Twitter .

  • Publishing
  • News
  • Financial
  • Paradox Interactive

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This is, of course, a question of scale, but at Paradox Development Studio everybody makes a game. Regardless of which department you belong to and which role you have in a team, it is vital that you acutely feel that you are making a game and are aware of the importance of your input. What you are creating will be a part of the player experience. “What can I make for the player/I’m making this for the player” often comes up when the studio discuss priorities and upcoming tasks. A game is made by more than just designers and programmers.

People have been known to take on new challenges and have a chance to prove themselves quite quickly within the studio. It’s often less about previous honors, pedigree, and resumes and more about what you actually create and deliver — and whether you make others around you better. As we’ve grown, the mobility between job tracks within the studio is perhaps not as quick as it once was, but our external environment changes often and so must we. We try to ensure that this type of constant change also comes with the payoff of personal development and the ability to assume responsibility.

An Heir is Born in Crusader Kings III

Crusader Kings III is the newest generation of Paradox Development Studio’s beloved medieval role-playing grand strategy game. Expand and improve your realm, whether a mighty kingdom or modest county. Use marriage, diplomacy and war to increase your power and prestige in a meticulously detailed map that stretches from Spain to India, Scandinavia to Central Africa.

But uneasy lies the head that wears a crown! Your cunning is your greatest weapon, and intelligence is the key to all successful strategy. Guard your life and the future of your dynasty, because enemies foreign and domestic envy your status. Engage in espionage, join political factions, punish heretics or use assassins to make sure your throne passes safely to the next generation.

Crusader Kings III is the medieval strategy role-playing experience that you have been waiting for.

— Shape Your Dynasty: Guide unique characters through history, choosing lifestyles best suited to their personalities and your ambitions.
— Rewrite Medieval History: Dynasties will change and adapt to changes in family and politics, swimming in a rich world of religious faith and royal pageantry.
— Build a Mighty Kingdom: Use cold steel or warm words to expand your realm; war backed by cunning, and diplomacy that unites bloodlines.
— Experience High Drama: Stranger than fiction stories leap off the screen, as characters plot against you and events push you to extremes.
— Learn as You Go: Guided advice helps newcomers and veterans navigate a rich medieval world. In-game suggestions tip you off to paths you might not have considered.
— The Usual Crusader Kings Fun: Keep a stubborn council in line, scheme against your overbearing uncle or marry rich duchesses for their land and legacy.

Smart business moves and impressive expansion has propelled Paradox to new heights.

Paradox Interactive, the publisher behind Cities: Skylines, Stellaris, and Battletech, has released its end-of-year earnings report for 2019. The numbers point to an impressive year for the Stockholm-based company, which saw a 14% increase in its revenue compared to 2018. In total, revenue amounted to SEK 1.2 billion ($132 million) for 2019.

“2019 was a year characterized by preparation for the future,” Paradox CEO Ebba Ljungerud said in a statement. “During the year, we invested in game development, performed marketing activities, and built our organisation to give us the best possible conditions to develop and publish our upcoming games.”

It was the publisher’s back catalog of games that did most of the heavy lifting, especially in Q4. The report cites impressive performance from Battletech, Cities: Skylines, Europa Universalis IV, Hearts of Iron IV, and Stellaris as the main drivers of revenue for Paradox during the last quarter.

According to Carter Rogers, principal analyst at SuperData, Paradox has spent years polishing its reputation as a go-to publisher for PC strategy games, a genre that boasts little competition.

“Paradox has really established itself as the go-to company for PC strategy games, and its titles have limited competition—namely the Civilization and Total War franchises,” Rogers told GameDaily. “Since its games are treated like platforms that are supported for years, players are comfortable regularly purchasing downloadable content.”

Rogers said that while only 35% of U.S. PC gamers regularly play strategy games, this segment is extremely valuable and devoted, and are more likely to purchase additional in-game content.

Recently, Paradox made several games available through new distribution methods, including Xbox Game Pass for PC, which has helped to signal boost many of its most popular titles.

“A central part of our business is to offer our games through the distribution channels and business models that our players appreciate,” Ljungerud wrote. “Our most important distribution channel for over a decade is Steam…. At the same time, we know that player behavior changes over time and therefore it is important for us to continuously test new distribution channels.”

For Rogers, Paradox’s willingness to test out such distribution methods is a smart move.

“Paying for several years of additional content to ‘catch up’ might seem daunting to a new player,” he explained. “Publishers of online games like World of Warcraft have previously done things like make old expansion packs free in order to catch newcomers up. Subscription services are appealing to investors since they can lead to dependable, recurring revenue. They also reduce the pressure for every new game or expansion to be a hit.”

2019 saw the release of only two new games from Paradox: Age of Wonders: Planetfall and Imperator: Rome. However, several classic titles received substantial expansion content, including Prison Architect, Battletech, and Age of Wonders: Planetfall.

“In November, we released our first expansion for Prison Architect since we acquired the game and the brand in December 2018,” the statement reads. “In the same month, we also released our first expansion to Age of Wonders: Pla­netfall. It is also gratifying to see how our continuous improvement work with Imperator: Rome now has be­gun to yield concrete results. At the end of the fourth quarter, after a series of updates, Imperator: Rome reached its highest player numbers since launch, and the game has gone from mostly negative to most­ly positive user reviews on Steam.”

The resurgence in popularity for some of Paradox’s classic titles has resulted in record numbers in terms of player count; more than 4 million unique monthly users were reported across the entire portfolio, which is a 30% increase over 2018.

Recent years have seen a number of significant acquisitions and business moves for Paradox, including the purchase of White Wolf in 2015 and Harebrained Schemes in 2018. The publisher also opened Paradox Tectonic Berkeley, California last year.

Looking forward, in 2020, Paradox will be publishing Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 by Hardsuit Labs, Empire of Sin by Romero Games, and Crusader Kings III by Paradox’s own internal development studio.

Rogers said that the success of Bloodlines 2 is going to depend on a few factors. First, the sales expectations set by Paradox are going to be very important to investors and shareholders, and making that outlook attainable is key. Also of concern is the “immersive sim” elements of gameplay.

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“The original game is considered a classic, and odds are the sequel will be a critical success,” Rogers commented. “The commercial picture, however, is less clear. Based on early previews, Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 looks like it has many elements commonly seen in ‘immersive sim’ games. Titles in this subgenre usually give players lots of options for overcoming obstacles and often have compact, but highly-detailed levels. Unfortunately, during this console generation, immersive sims such as Dishonored 2, Prey, Hitman 2 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided have not set the world on fire in terms of sales numbers.”

Paradox has shown impressive business aptitude in recent years as it has expanded its portfolio and smartly adapted to larger industry trends, and there’s no reason to believe that this will change in 2020. The company’s wheelhouse of grand strategy experiences is still very much a core part of its identity, but it’s casting a wider net these days, and the results speak for themself.

For more stories like this one delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to the GameDailyBiz Digest!

Sam, the Editor-in-Chief of GameDaily.biz, is a former freelance game reporter. He’s been seen at IGN, PCGamesN, PCGamer, Unwinnable, and many more. When not writing about games, he is most likely taking care of his two dogs or pretending to know a lot about artisan coffee. Get in touch with Sam by emailing him at sdesatoff@rektglobal.com or follow him on Twitter .

  • Publishing
  • News
  • Financial
  • Paradox Interactive

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Resolution Games branches into publishing the VR publishing arena

Odd Raven’s Carly and the Reaperman to be the first game to benefit from the new initiative.

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Report: Video game revenue hit $3.8 billion in October (NPD)

The Nintendo Switch continued its domination of a wildly-unpredictable market last month. NPD’s Mat Piscatella weighs in.

Report: Games market to generate $174.9 billion in 2020 (Newzoo)

Newzoo has increased its forecast once again thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is, of course, a question of scale, but at Paradox Development Studio everybody makes a game. Regardless of which department you belong to and which role you have in a team, it is vital that you acutely feel that you are making a game and are aware of the importance of your input. What you are creating will be a part of the player experience. “What can I make for the player/I’m making this for the player” often comes up when the studio discuss priorities and upcoming tasks. A game is made by more than just designers and programmers.

People have been known to take on new challenges and have a chance to prove themselves quite quickly within the studio. It’s often less about previous honors, pedigree, and resumes and more about what you actually create and deliver — and whether you make others around you better. As we’ve grown, the mobility between job tracks within the studio is perhaps not as quick as it once was, but our external environment changes often and so must we. We try to ensure that this type of constant change also comes with the payoff of personal development and the ability to assume responsibility.

An Heir is Born in Crusader Kings III

Crusader Kings III is the newest generation of Paradox Development Studio’s beloved medieval role-playing grand strategy game. Expand and improve your realm, whether a mighty kingdom or modest county. Use marriage, diplomacy and war to increase your power and prestige in a meticulously detailed map that stretches from Spain to India, Scandinavia to Central Africa.

But uneasy lies the head that wears a crown! Your cunning is your greatest weapon, and intelligence is the key to all successful strategy. Guard your life and the future of your dynasty, because enemies foreign and domestic envy your status. Engage in espionage, join political factions, punish heretics or use assassins to make sure your throne passes safely to the next generation.

Crusader Kings III is the medieval strategy role-playing experience that you have been waiting for.

— Shape Your Dynasty: Guide unique characters through history, choosing lifestyles best suited to their personalities and your ambitions.
— Rewrite Medieval History: Dynasties will change and adapt to changes in family and politics, swimming in a rich world of religious faith and royal pageantry.
— Build a Mighty Kingdom: Use cold steel or warm words to expand your realm; war backed by cunning, and diplomacy that unites bloodlines.
— Experience High Drama: Stranger than fiction stories leap off the screen, as characters plot against you and events push you to extremes.
— Learn as You Go: Guided advice helps newcomers and veterans navigate a rich medieval world. In-game suggestions tip you off to paths you might not have considered.
— The Usual Crusader Kings Fun: Keep a stubborn council in line, scheme against your overbearing uncle or marry rich duchesses for their land and legacy.

Smart business moves and impressive expansion has propelled Paradox to new heights.

Paradox Interactive, the publisher behind Cities: Skylines, Stellaris, and Battletech, has released its end-of-year earnings report for 2019. The numbers point to an impressive year for the Stockholm-based company, which saw a 14% increase in its revenue compared to 2018. In total, revenue amounted to SEK 1.2 billion ($132 million) for 2019.

“2019 was a year characterized by preparation for the future,” Paradox CEO Ebba Ljungerud said in a statement. “During the year, we invested in game development, performed marketing activities, and built our organisation to give us the best possible conditions to develop and publish our upcoming games.”

It was the publisher’s back catalog of games that did most of the heavy lifting, especially in Q4. The report cites impressive performance from Battletech, Cities: Skylines, Europa Universalis IV, Hearts of Iron IV, and Stellaris as the main drivers of revenue for Paradox during the last quarter.

According to Carter Rogers, principal analyst at SuperData, Paradox has spent years polishing its reputation as a go-to publisher for PC strategy games, a genre that boasts little competition.

“Paradox has really established itself as the go-to company for PC strategy games, and its titles have limited competition—namely the Civilization and Total War franchises,” Rogers told GameDaily. “Since its games are treated like platforms that are supported for years, players are comfortable regularly purchasing downloadable content.”

Rogers said that while only 35% of U.S. PC gamers regularly play strategy games, this segment is extremely valuable and devoted, and are more likely to purchase additional in-game content.

Recently, Paradox made several games available through new distribution methods, including Xbox Game Pass for PC, which has helped to signal boost many of its most popular titles.

“A central part of our business is to offer our games through the distribution channels and business models that our players appreciate,” Ljungerud wrote. “Our most important distribution channel for over a decade is Steam…. At the same time, we know that player behavior changes over time and therefore it is important for us to continuously test new distribution channels.”

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For Rogers, Paradox’s willingness to test out such distribution methods is a smart move.

“Paying for several years of additional content to ‘catch up’ might seem daunting to a new player,” he explained. “Publishers of online games like World of Warcraft have previously done things like make old expansion packs free in order to catch newcomers up. Subscription services are appealing to investors since they can lead to dependable, recurring revenue. They also reduce the pressure for every new game or expansion to be a hit.”

2019 saw the release of only two new games from Paradox: Age of Wonders: Planetfall and Imperator: Rome. However, several classic titles received substantial expansion content, including Prison Architect, Battletech, and Age of Wonders: Planetfall.

“In November, we released our first expansion for Prison Architect since we acquired the game and the brand in December 2018,” the statement reads. “In the same month, we also released our first expansion to Age of Wonders: Pla­netfall. It is also gratifying to see how our continuous improvement work with Imperator: Rome now has be­gun to yield concrete results. At the end of the fourth quarter, after a series of updates, Imperator: Rome reached its highest player numbers since launch, and the game has gone from mostly negative to most­ly positive user reviews on Steam.”

The resurgence in popularity for some of Paradox’s classic titles has resulted in record numbers in terms of player count; more than 4 million unique monthly users were reported across the entire portfolio, which is a 30% increase over 2018.

Recent years have seen a number of significant acquisitions and business moves for Paradox, including the purchase of White Wolf in 2015 and Harebrained Schemes in 2018. The publisher also opened Paradox Tectonic Berkeley, California last year.

Looking forward, in 2020, Paradox will be publishing Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 by Hardsuit Labs, Empire of Sin by Romero Games, and Crusader Kings III by Paradox’s own internal development studio.

Rogers said that the success of Bloodlines 2 is going to depend on a few factors. First, the sales expectations set by Paradox are going to be very important to investors and shareholders, and making that outlook attainable is key. Also of concern is the “immersive sim” elements of gameplay.

“The original game is considered a classic, and odds are the sequel will be a critical success,” Rogers commented. “The commercial picture, however, is less clear. Based on early previews, Vampire: The Masquerade — Bloodlines 2 looks like it has many elements commonly seen in ‘immersive sim’ games. Titles in this subgenre usually give players lots of options for overcoming obstacles and often have compact, but highly-detailed levels. Unfortunately, during this console generation, immersive sims such as Dishonored 2, Prey, Hitman 2 and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided have not set the world on fire in terms of sales numbers.”

Paradox has shown impressive business aptitude in recent years as it has expanded its portfolio and smartly adapted to larger industry trends, and there’s no reason to believe that this will change in 2020. The company’s wheelhouse of grand strategy experiences is still very much a core part of its identity, but it’s casting a wider net these days, and the results speak for themself.

For more stories like this one delivered straight to your inbox, please subscribe to the GameDailyBiz Digest!

Sam, the Editor-in-Chief of GameDaily.biz, is a former freelance game reporter. He’s been seen at IGN, PCGamesN, PCGamer, Unwinnable, and many more. When not writing about games, he is most likely taking care of his two dogs or pretending to know a lot about artisan coffee. Get in touch with Sam by emailing him at sdesatoff@rektglobal.com or follow him on Twitter .

  • Publishing
  • News
  • Financial
  • Paradox Interactive

Related Reading

Resolution Games branches into publishing the VR publishing arena

Odd Raven’s Carly and the Reaperman to be the first game to benefit from the new initiative.

Crey Games looks to blur the lines between game creation and social media

Crey CEO Fabien Rossini talks to GameDaily about the platform’s ambitions to create a social game development hub for Gen Z.

Report: Video game revenue hit $3.8 billion in October (NPD)

The Nintendo Switch continued its domination of a wildly-unpredictable market last month. NPD’s Mat Piscatella weighs in.

Report: Games market to generate $174.9 billion in 2020 (Newzoo)

Newzoo has increased its forecast once again thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is, of course, a question of scale, but at Paradox Development Studio everybody makes a game. Regardless of which department you belong to and which role you have in a team, it is vital that you acutely feel that you are making a game and are aware of the importance of your input. What you are creating will be a part of the player experience. “What can I make for the player/I’m making this for the player” often comes up when the studio discuss priorities and upcoming tasks. A game is made by more than just designers and programmers.

People have been known to take on new challenges and have a chance to prove themselves quite quickly within the studio. It’s often less about previous honors, pedigree, and resumes and more about what you actually create and deliver — and whether you make others around you better. As we’ve grown, the mobility between job tracks within the studio is perhaps not as quick as it once was, but our external environment changes often and so must we. We try to ensure that this type of constant change also comes with the payoff of personal development and the ability to assume responsibility.

An Heir is Born in Crusader Kings III

Crusader Kings III is the newest generation of Paradox Development Studio’s beloved medieval role-playing grand strategy game. Expand and improve your realm, whether a mighty kingdom or modest county. Use marriage, diplomacy and war to increase your power and prestige in a meticulously detailed map that stretches from Spain to India, Scandinavia to Central Africa.

But uneasy lies the head that wears a crown! Your cunning is your greatest weapon, and intelligence is the key to all successful strategy. Guard your life and the future of your dynasty, because enemies foreign and domestic envy your status. Engage in espionage, join political factions, punish heretics or use assassins to make sure your throne passes safely to the next generation.

Crusader Kings III is the medieval strategy role-playing experience that you have been waiting for.

— Shape Your Dynasty: Guide unique characters through history, choosing lifestyles best suited to their personalities and your ambitions.
— Rewrite Medieval History: Dynasties will change and adapt to changes in family and politics, swimming in a rich world of religious faith and royal pageantry.
— Build a Mighty Kingdom: Use cold steel or warm words to expand your realm; war backed by cunning, and diplomacy that unites bloodlines.
— Experience High Drama: Stranger than fiction stories leap off the screen, as characters plot against you and events push you to extremes.
— Learn as You Go: Guided advice helps newcomers and veterans navigate a rich medieval world. In-game suggestions tip you off to paths you might not have considered.
— The Usual Crusader Kings Fun: Keep a stubborn council in line, scheme against your overbearing uncle or marry rich duchesses for their land and legacy.

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