Paradox Selling “Insane Amounts” On PC

By John Walker on February 25th, 2009 at 9:53 am.

Battlemaps drawn up to get a quote on RPS.

We know when we’re being manipulated. And we’re being manipulated by the press release just put out by Paradox. It shows us nothing but this tantalising paraphrase of Hearts of Iron developer, Johan Andersson:

“PC sales makes it difficult for us to consider developing console based titles.”

Ooh, you scamps. It seems Andersson is selling “insane amounts” of his games on PC, and sales are increasing. Which is just the sort of feel-good story we need to start our day.

Andersson’s full quote, excerpted from an interview that will be published later on Strategy Informer (which seems an odd plan – just put the interview up, guys), goes like this:

“It’s been fifteen years since I last made a console game so I don’t know exactly what the hardware limitations would be. I haven’t thought about it, but I don’t know. PC games still sell insane amounts and considering how much online distribution is increasing sales; it’s easier to continue making PC games.”

Andersson is the lead programmer on the Hearts of Iron and Europa Universalis games.

We’ll probably update to link to the rest of the interview later, but might forget. See, you may be able to manipulate us, but you can’t stop us being distracted and confused.

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59 Comments »

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  1. Kanamit says:

    @sinister agent: Honestly, I’m not sure if I was being sarcastic or not either.

  2. cowthief skank says:

    Agree about wanting to get In Nomine. I felt it made the game so much more enjoyable. And I enjoyed plain old Europa Universalis 3.

  3. me, ehem. says:

    @catska – What makes a game “overly” complex? Seems a bit normative to me. Gaming is the only medium I can think of where the market is taken to be the ultimate arbiter of value. If painting were PC gaming, Thomas Kinkade would be the greatest developer of all time.

  4. dsmart says:

    Only on the PC would a few hundred thousand be considered ‘insane sales’. This is pretty much the future of pc exclusives here, really niche games with tiny communities that are so overly complicated that they would only be possible and profitiable on the PC.

    Well uhm, this has been the case for like, well, forever.

    And it has nothing to do with complicated games but more to do with developer resources and their targeted market.

    Indie devs don’t need to get on the console to turn a profit. Only publishers – and third party devs who have no clue where their next five million is coming from if not from a publisher – need to worry about consoles.

    The whole console thing is really just about money. Nothing more. Nothing less. If console games were as easy to pirate
    as PC games and didn’t have the same “ten foot” display paradigm, we’d still be rejoicing over the likes of PS2, Dreamcast and the N64.

    A good, cost conscious indie developer can turn $250K into a 50+% profit margin with a good game release. The kind of returns publishers only dream about when having wet dreams.

    I should know. I’ve been doing just that for, what? Twenty years and fourteen games now? Without being able to do that, I would be out of business by now.

    The biggest issue is mitigating the damages of PC piracy. For me, DRM is just a means to an end. Sufficient gamers buy our games, so I don’t lose any sleep over those who pirate it.

    A publisher would be more than willing to fork out $20m on a single game, than fund ten small indies $2m each to put out ten games. And when they do fork out those ridiculous sums, they expect an insurmountable and exhorbitant return on investment.

    The truth is that a lot of indie devs are making a decent living on the PC platform due to a rabidly loyal customer base. Couple that with digital distribution (even when you give up 50% of the revenue to portals) and not needing a publisher, the returns are negligible.

    Don’t kid yourselves into thinking they are heroes for sticking with the PC, if their game was able to be on the console they’d have jumped ship long ago. Unless they hate money.

    Thats just bollocks. You can do ANY game on the console. Especially one like this which is not twitched based, but rather relies on button presses. Fact is, the game is not a “good fit” for the console. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

    In our case, we are venturing into console territory because it just makes sense. If u can find a publisher (since you can’t self-publish except through the likes of XBLA, then we’re talking a $19.99 price cap and a ludicrous royalty scheme) to publish/distribute your game, thats just half the battle. But the fact is there are ludicrouse costs involved with publishing/marketing an XB360 title that makes it only viable for established publishers. Which is why MS skewed the whole process toward them because thats how they recoup the cost of the console – through royalties. Hence the whole XBLA and XBLA Community Games which, only someone not looking to make money doing this – or who cares about residual income – should give a toss about.

  5. theleif says:

    @Nimic
    Wow! The map just got so much nicer!
    Now it feels like playing a board game.

    Thanks a bunch!

  6. Scandalon says:

    Mr. Smart (Man, that’s the coolest last name ever) – For some reason I felt compelled to read your (somewhat) lengthy reply, aimed at caska and his ilk I believe, which was quite good. Then I saw your name/face. Assuming you’re actually D. Smart, just let me say thanks for typing up the reply so I didn’t have to. Also, much different than how your reputation suggests. Though none of your games have really caught my interest, please let me give my appreciation to someone doing what they want, in their niche of this fine hobby.

  7. Scandalon says:

    Holy crap, I need to figure out how to sign in to the forum so I can edit my posts to not sound like (American) English is my 3rd language.

  8. dsmart says:

    Assuming you’re actually D. Smart, just let me say thanks for typing up the reply so I didn’t have to. Also, much different than how your reputation suggests.

    hehe, its me alright. Dunno about the reputation part, since apart from getting older (and not much wiser if you ask my wife) I haven’t changed much. :)

    Though none of your games have really caught my interest, please let me give my appreciation to someone doing what they want, in their niche of this fine hobby.

    Well, its all about sticking to what you know. Too many tend to chase the dollar and spend more time figuring out what the next person is doing, rather than spending that same time figuring out how you’re going to improve on what you know best.

  9. Alex Bakke says:

    I think one of the biggest(and most useful) mistake Paradox made was when they released the Press Release version of Mount&Blade, basically v1.0, on a FTP site. Without a password. 5 days early.