Right: A Chat With Paradox’s Fred Wester

By Jim Rossignol on March 16th, 2011 at 2:35 pm.


If there was one thing I took away from GDC this year, it was that the “mid-level” publishers are having a good time. Digital distribution seems to be favouring them, and companies such as Paradox are working hard to diversify and deliver unusual games. Paradox’s line up for this year includes a bunch of interesting titles, such as Crusader Kings II, Sword Of The Stars II, and Mount & Blade: Fire & Sword, and they’ve already produced a big management title, with Cities In Motion, and this year’s surprise action RPG hit, with Magicka. Clearly, it was time to catch up with Paradox’s CEO, Fredrik Wester. You can read our conversation below.

RPS: Good GDC, Fred?

Wester: It was great. A lot of people came to see us, even people we didn’t expect. I think a lot of those came because of the Magicka Vietnam trailer, and they wanted to see if we had something playable. We didn’t, but we had the Arrowhead CEO with us so he spoke to everyone and I think that was okay.

RPS: Magicka Vietnam makes a lot of sense to me, but how did it come about?

Wester: Well it was the CEO of Arrowhead, Johan, who said that all games have a Vietnam expansion. And he’s right: all games should have a Vietnam expansion. So we made one for Magicka.

RPS: Can we expect to see Vietnam expansions for Crusader Kings and Sword Of The Stars?

Wester: Sure! I will need to talk to the development teams about that, of course, but I wouldn’t completely rule it out…

RPS (trying to imagine what a Vietcong spacecraft would look like): Okay! In terms of other games you have got a busy year, as the GDC showing seemed to underline…

Wester: Oh absolutely, we have a great variety of games coming out, and we showed a number of titles at GDC. Pirates Of The Black Cove is looking particularly interesting, because it’s a blend of the old East India company games and something with a little more RPG action. You’ve seen that, of course. Fans of the old Pirates! franchise – and I am one of those – will get a kick out of this game, I am sure.


RPS: Yes, and it does look interesting in a piratey-gang Diablo sort of way.

Wester: Then we have Mount & Blade, too, which will have a new version with Fire And Sword. As well as new games we have a lot of expansions and extra content for existing games, such as those for Magicka, Hearts Of Iron III, and others. It’s going to be a big year!

RPS: Yes, and it seems like you are starting to diversify. I still see people in our comments threads saying “hey Paradox, try publishing other than historical strategy!” But the truth is you are already making in-roads into other territories. Dreamlords is an MMORTS, even. How did that one come about?

Wester: That was just a great opportunity. I think it suited us because it’s a hardcore RTS, but it really came about by chance. It’s being developed by a Swedish developer who were running it on their own, and they wanted some marketing backup. That’s the main part of it for us. It’s the kind of game that needs a big kick to get it going, and we are trying to push it through our channels to make that happen.

RPS: Oh and Sword Of The Stars II! I missed that at GDC, unfortunately, but it’s looking promising.

Wester: Yes, that should be this year, too. It’s slated for August, but I wouldn’t take that as being set in stone…

RPS: It seems like a fairly ambitious step onwards from the last game. I suppose you are soon going to be telling us about how it’s pushing 4X in a new, exciting direction?

Wester: Well we like to think so, but too many companies cry wolf too often. We do it too! I try to restrain myself from saying that much about pushing boundaries or things like that, but I still think that this genre has not had a lot going on in for three or four years. I’d like to think that we can deliver the spiritual successor to the Masters Of Orion series. That’s a big part of the ambition we have for the game. I am biased of course, when I say that, because that’s my personal favourite, the Masters Of Orion games. I really love them! Sword Of The Starts II is a game that I – as an old 4X gamer – am really excited about.


RPS: Just going back to the new Mount & Blade game – what’s the deal with that? Hasn’t it already been released before in Eastern Europe?

Wester: It’s actually been kind of a mess. First they made a mod, and then they made a game out of it based on the original Mount & Blade, and then another based on Mount & Blade Warband! But the game you will see out in the West is a polished version of that. It has eight more months of quality on there, and it’s much closer to how TaleWorlds want it to be. They’ve put a lot of work in there.

RPS: I’ve always been a bit surprised by the enthusiasm for Mount & Blade – does the intense interest from the community ever surprise you?

Wester: Well these are the kinds of games that just keep you interested because of the way they play. If you take the Mount & Blade series as an example, then you can see why people keep on playing, because it rewards those who go back to it and find more, and master more of it. Lots of different games have their own ways of providing that kind of gameplay – just look at Minecraft – but I think these games have a certain mechanic that is fun and rewarding. I think that’s what a lot of studios actually forget about: making games! I play a lot of games that look really good, but I have no reason to go back to them. I won’t mention any names, but I think these games are throwaway.

If we made Mount & Blade more beautiful – if we made it look like the new Battlefield 3 trailer for example – it would cost a hell of a lot of money, and would probably sell a little more, but we don’t think like that, we can’t think like that. Instead we think we have an opportunity to challenge that way of doing things.

RPS: Speaking of challenging the way things are done, Magicka is quite an unusual release in many ways… And unusually buggy, too, perhaps? How do you feel about the launch of that now, looking back?

Wester: With the tech that we built upon and the group of students who were working so hard on that game… well, let’s say that we were not surprised that it was buggy on release, we just knew we’d have to keep putting time and resources into the game after release. It’s in somewhat good shape now, I think. But remember that working with a first-time team is hard, because it’s tough to plan the time, to plan the goals. What they say and what we see might not be the same thing. But also these first-time teams have crazy ideas and those fill up the game. That’s what we are so happy about with Magicka, because the action is funny and strange, and for something to be different, well, that is a great achievement for a first-time team releasing a ten-dollar game.


RPS: We often debate how finished games should be, and this issue comes up every few months. It seems to me that people are willing to take it case-by-case, though. I mean the reaction of Magicka being unfinished was quite different to the reaction to other games I could mention. Was it down to the price? Or something else in terms of expectations?

Wester: Oh it’s a mix of those things. We didn’t try to hype the game, and that set the expectations at a certain level. The price point was $10, and how angry can you be at having spent $10? The reaction was firstly “oh, it is buggy”, and we said “right, we’re going to fix it”. I’ve seen other studios say “no, it’s finished”, or “it’s not buggy” about their games that two weeks later get patched. We just accepted that and got on with it. And we patched every day for a week, which was a difficult thing to do, because how can you be sure that one patch is better than the one from the day before, but it’s done and now we are adding even more content. Other companies need to admit that their games are buggy on release, because the gamers have to live with it. If you don’t start dealing with problems right away then you lose respect. As a developer you have to react quickly and responsibly. Always be polite, and always write things on the forums that you’d be happy for your mom to read.

RPS: Sound advice for everyone on the internet, there. So, moving on, what’s happening with Paradox Connect? I saw you guys announce your social networking functions, but I’ve not seen it in any games yet?

Wester: Dreamlords is the first game that has Paradox Connect fully integrated. We want to integrate all titles with it, so that there are achievements and so on available for all games. People ask me “are you going to use that to compete with Steam?” But that’s just ridiculous, we are complimenting Steam, and nothing else. We want to serve gamers and give them the kind of functionality that they are looking for. This allows us to do that without relying on anyone else.

RPS: But it’s not a framework or DRM like GFWL, is it? It’s just an optional extension?

Wester: No, Connect is not mandatory. If you want the achievements, avatars and so on, then you have to use it. But you don’t need to log into it to get to the game. We don’t ever want to hide our game behind different DRM systems like Ubisoft or whoever seem to need to do. We just don’t work like that.


RPS: So you aren’t using DRM in any way?

Wester: We don’t use any DRM. We do however use Steam installers sometimes, but we’re not using that as an anti-piracy DRM. Actually we are using it as a way to make sure that our distributors actually pay us money. We’ve had problems with that in the past with box products, and not being paid, so having control of the Steam framework means we can turn off all the games in a certain channel and that puts pressure on distributors to pay up. That’s the whole story. Steam is not a DRM for us. Some people don’t like Steam, and I respect that, but it’s been useful to defend ourselves from unpaid distributor bills.

RPS: So do you worry about piracy?

Wester: It’s a non-issue. A lot of pirates have been converted by Steam and GamersGate. Most people want to pay for games, and most of them do. As long as we make money and have a great business I won’t worry about it. The only thing that pisses me off is when people claim they have a “right” to be able to pirate and download a game. Apart from that, I don’t worry about it. That might change if we have a heavily pirated game, maybe. We’ll see. Haha.


RPS: That seems like a positive attitude. Oh, there was one other thing I wanted to ask you about: you tweeted grumpily that you weren’t invited to the strategy game panel at GDC? Yet most of the panel members mentioned Paradox as “an interesting mid-level company”, how do you feel about that?

Wester: It’s certainly better than being characterised as an interesting small-scale strategy company! I see it as a good thing. It was a good thing, a really good thing. The guy from Robot Entertainment, for example, was citing us as an example of how games should be more complex, and I like that. Grumpy, though? Maybe that is the right word. But you know if it’s a discussion of strategy games on PC, and me and three producers were in San Francisco anyway, you know, invite us! Come on, guys. On the other hand I won’t be grumpy about it in a year – I am just giving them a heads up for next time.

RPS: That point about complexity is important, isn’t it? I keep running into journalists, gamers, and developers who are all pointing to these kinds of games, or things like Men Of War, as an example of how they are getting more out of complex games. Is that one of Paradox’s tasks, to supply those kinds of needs?

Wester: Yes, providing more complex gameplay is Paradox’s task. What we need to be better at is to make gamers feel better about playing those games. Some games published by us are really punishing. We need to make sure that the first couple of hours of games like, say Hearts Of Iron, run a little more smoothly. I think if we can do that without sacrificing any depth or complexity, well, that has to be the goal. And we have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go.

RPS: Thanks for your time.

, , , .

82 Comments »

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  1. Sarlix says:

    Right.

    • Premium User Badge

      JB says:

      You know, before even reading the article I frantically scrolled down, thinking “Please let the first comment just say “Right.”, please please please!”

      Thanks Sarlix. =D

    • Sarlix says:

      :D

  2. Premium User Badge

    Saul says:

    But mid-budget games are dying! Cliffy B said so at GDC! And we all know that he has psychic powers – remember that time he said that PC gaming was dead? And then … oh.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lars Westergren says:

      >But mid-budget games are dying! Cliffy B said so at GDC!

      I think he was speaking more from his experience as a console oriented publisher and developer. In that market, I think it may be true. Mid-level console budget are still pretty expensive, and their sales have dropped. “Nah, I’ll rent it”.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Mid-level console games are in trouble, but that’s precisely because they are trying to ape the big budget stuff. Wester’s point is that those are the developers/publishers who should be doing something different, like making a horse combat game. I mean, more easily said than done, but the point is there.

    • Premium User Badge

      drewski says:

      Or spending $20m on your arcade street racer, not $100m.

    • Commisar says:

      correction: mid budget CONSOLE games, not PC games, just look at most of Paradox’s games

    • Wulf says:

      What Jim said.

      I bought Magicka because it’s strange and off the wall. After all my time playing it, I still find that it’s strange and off the wall. (I also dig that they don’t take themselves too seriously, the BSoD spell was a stroke of genius because it showed so well that they’re not afraid to have a laugh at their own expense if they screw up.)

      So long as the indies continue to make games which are weird, I’ll continue to buy them. The moment independent stuff degenerates into the pap that has flooded the mainstream market, I fear then will be the time for me to find another hobby. I have hopes though that that won’t happen.

      I also hope that they ramp up the cheesy nonsense in Pirates of the Cove, too, because if they do then I’m buying that as well. Oh and Fred, if you’re listening? Liir parody in Pirates of the Cove. It needs to happen.

    • Premium User Badge

      Saul says:

      Sure he was talking about console games, because PC gaming is dead!

      But seriously – I think it’s fairly obvious that, as the games market expands, you have to make your games either increasingly expensive or increasingly interesting. Both would be nice, but it’s all too rare.

    • SwiftRanger says:

      Paradox games aren’t mid-budget, they’re (just) below that category. Don’t come telling me that a Paradox published game doesn’t cost less than a mid-budget game (PC only or not) published and made by a US company.

      For all their successes Paradox are still working in niche genres. Try telling US-based RTS developers like Gas Powered Games that there’s still a viable mid-budget market for RTSs where publishers are willing to sign your new IP. It just isn’t there anymore, at least not in the US.

    • Archonsod says:

      That’s because the US already has a glut of big budget publishers producing their own RTS games. The problem isn’t a lack of market, the problem is that he’s trying to sell snow to Eskimos. Sins did quite well for itself, and I wouldn’t say Ironclad were big budget.

  3. gorgol says:

    Nice! I love how they are keen on delivering depth of gameplay above all. Will have to try more of their games, not just Magicka :P

    • Wulf says:

      I heartily recommend Sword of the Stars.

    • thebigJ_A says:

      Fair warning, Magicka’s VERY different from the in-house stuff Paradox makes. Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, Crusader Kings, Victoria, all games I love (or at least like), but they aren’t for everyone.

      They take some effort on the part of the player, and their complexity can be daunting. However, if you stick it out (and these sorts of games are your thing), the reward is well worth it.

      The new stuff they have coming out is what I’m looking forward to. Some of it’s quite different from their usual, like that modern navy warfare simulator, some similar but not quite, like that Pride of Nations, and some expansions/sequels to their classics, like CK2, or the new HOI expansion.

      Paradox is a great company.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      I second the SOTS recommendation. That is the definitive spiritual successor to the Master of Orion series.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      It’s actually the furthest away of many of the 4x clones I’ve tried.

      The voice acting is terrible, the research interface a farce, there is no planetary development, ship design is simplistic/minimal and there is basically no truly interactive space combat.

      I have no idea what these people like about the game, but it is one of the worst I tried.
      And I tried twice, with patches, expansions and whatnot. It remained terrible. Terrible, terrible.

      I hate how most comments just seem to constantly sweep past the many terrible flaws/issues the game has.

  4. skinlo says:

    Cool.

  5. Tei says:

    Relevant.

  6. Scott Kevill says:

    I’m Too Sexy for My Robes — Right Said Fred.

  7. Wodge says:

    Paradox are fast becoming one of my favourite publishers, came as bit of a surprise that i own quite a few of their games too, and that wester chap is pleasant and responds to feedback over the twitter, and is giving free stuff away all the time.

    Bravo Paradox!

  8. frags says:

    Right…

  9. Fwiffo says:

    I used to be one of those people that sneered at Paradox, but they’ve really surprised me in the past year. They seem like a dynamic and enthusiastic bunch who’ve taken some risks on games that aren’t technical masterpieces but damn fun to play and it’s paid off for them.
    It makes for a happy and loyal fanbase which the big publishers are losing with DRM farces, homogenization of product, reliance on shovelware to fund bloated and turgid “AAA” crap and moves aimed squarely at investors like pushing back release dates.

  10. CMaster says:

    Interesting, that’s the second time I’ve seen someone from one of the smaller publishers whinging that they don’t always get their money for boxed games. Just goes to show that retailers can’t expect everyone to dance to their tune.

  11. Mr_Hands says:

    “Right.”

    • Mr_Hands says:

      Also. New Crusader Kings happens in a year or so. This makes me deliriously happy. And Sengoku, which, okay, might be the midpoint between Divine Wind and CK2, but still. DELIRIOUSLY HAPPY.

  12. Ondrej says:

    I like this guy, he’s talking sense. I encourage more devs and publishers to make such interviews which offer some insight into what’s happening in the backstage games development, it’s a pleasure to read and write too, I can imagine.

  13. pakoito says:

    They should bring a couple more demos and a bit more of spit and polish in release games but yeah, I’m starting to like them. I just hope they don’t go and do “a Stardock”.

    • Dozer says:

      I’m eagerly awaiting GalCivII to arrive through my letterbox. Depending on Royal Mail, I could be a while. It’s my first Stardock-published game. What do you mean by ‘do a Stardock’?

      I have two Paradox-published games – EU3+expansions, which felt like a very nice frontend for Microsoft Excel after I read the mechanical spoilers on the forums, and Cities In Motion, which gave me the strong impression the devs either didn’t spend much/any time playtesting or balancing the game, or they had very different ideas about what the player is expecting from a public transport manager game. Probably the latter because they included helicopters as a form of urban public transport. I’ll wait for strong endorsement from a respected journo before buying again!

    • Dozer says:

      That said, I’ve just watched a TotalBiscuit/Yogscast mage suicide video of Magika and am officially interested now.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Stardock has recently had problems with Demigod (some) and Elemental (lots), so nothing to worry about with regards to GalCiv. :)

    • pakoito says:

      Demigod didn’t have “some” problems. The game was straightly unplayable for me from day 0 on the beta until 2 months into the game. Also, they promised and failed to deliver long-term support needed for a dota-esque game. The game was dead in less than two months in.

  14. President Weasel says:

    Everyone knows the CEO of Paradox is Roger Paradox. It stands to reason.

    (I do like this Fredrik Wester guy though, whoever he turns out to be. I also strongly approve of his liking for the Master of Orion games)

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I thought Fred Wester was a fictional internet character.

      Apparently fictional characters can still give interviews.

  15. bitbot says:

    I wish they’d make a top-down party-based RPG with tactical and deep combat! I know a lot of people out there would like something like that.

  16. Vague-rant says:

    Pirates!! Man that game was awesome. Went back and played it for a bit last year. Its the only game I can think of where dancing is harder than fighting.

    Also, really enjoyed the few paradox games that I have played. Only Magicka, King Arthur and Mount and Blade, admittedly, but they were all a lot of fun. They did all seem to suffer an unpleasant number of bugs though.

  17. Heliosicle says:

    Really looking forward to SotS2.

  18. Javier-de-Ass says:

    still waiting for the steamless version of magicka

  19. jonfitt says:

    Hooray for complexity!

    Now that doesn’t mean that you have to have grognard-game levels of impenetrability but complex games with intelligent interfaces are what I often like.

    (Does anyone have a link to recent Quinns(?) article where he pointed out the difference between complex games an impenetrable interfaces?)

  20. Premium User Badge

    Stellar Duck says:

    I enjoyed this a lot. Fred Wester seems like a genuinely nice guy and he is always pleasant to read.

    Paradox is fast becoming one of my favourite publishers and developers. They seem to cater very well to my tastes in a market filled with corridor based games.

    And I’ll recommend GamersGate any day of the week. I seem to be using it more than Steam these days, due to saving 33-50% on most newly released games. Steam is relegated to being looked at only for sales.

    So keep up the good work!

    • Ysellian says:

      The blue coin system is worth a mention as well. After a number of purchases you can get either a pretty large discount or a free game using blue coins, which makes the initial purchase have more value.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      True! I forgot about that.

      The pre-order for Total 2 Shogun War included, aside from the 25% sale, a further 25% cash back in Blue Coins. Sadly I can’t run the blasted thing. I should of bought in anyway I have realised.

    • sinister agent says:

      I agree about Gamers Gate, and the blue coin thing in particular. I tend to completely avoid and/or ignore ‘reward’ and ‘loyalty’ schemes with any shop/site, but their is very non-invasive and surprisingly generous – I’ve had a couple of games from there effectively free thanks to the blue coins thing, and all I had to do was click a different button on the payment screen.

      It helps that their sales are full of a good mix of big-ish name games that are great value for a few quid, and very obscure titles well worth throwing a fiver at just in case they turn out good.

  21. frags says:

    Saying that Paradox is committed to making complex games is like mana from the heavens after playing Dragon Age II. How so different philosophies. Paradox vs Bioware. One committed to complexity, the other so against it.

    • Beardface says:

      You do realize that the combat in DA2 is just as complex as it was in DA1, right? More so in boss fights. I love Paradox games though, EU3 is probably the singleplayer game I spent the most time on.

  22. Premium User Badge

    Colonel J says:

    Agreed a Vietnam expansion should be the aspiration for all games. In particular Agricultural Simulator 2011.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      Agent Orange on your fields? I like it!

      I’ve often considered getting Agri Sim.

  23. Premium User Badge

    Phinor says:

    I really like the fact that a company like Paradox can exist and does exist. I might not like most of the products they release but every once in a while they release a game that simply works for me. Buggy or not, I can wait few extra weeks or months for patches if the game is solid enough. Then there’s the fact that they are not afraid to price games to less than full retail price which is always a nice bonus.

  24. terry says:

    Not-left.

  25. Robert says:

    Corporate crooks and basement-dwelling brigands, please read this:

    RPS: So do you worry about piracy?

    Wester: It’s a non-issue. A lot of pirates have been converted by Steam and GamersGate. Most people want to pay for games, and most of them do. As long as we make money and have a great business I won’t worry about it. The only thing that pisses me off is when people claim they have a “right” to be able to pirate and download a game. Apart from that, I don’t worry about it. That might change if we have a heavily pirated game, maybe. We’ll see. Haha.

  26. Om says:

    Edit: Bah @CMaster

    While I wouldn’t necessarily call it “whinging” (more stating a reality of being a small-ish fish) Paradox have every right to indulge. They were royally screwed over about a decade ago when a distributor/publisher made off with some of the proceeds from one of their early games (Vicky perhaps?). I don’t know if the company ever went to the wall but, given that this was back in the days when the company was tiny, it was pretty serious
    Little wonder that they’ve been so keen on self-publishing and digital distribution since

    • CMaster says:

      @Om
      I wasn’t saying they were being unreasonable at all. Not getting paid for work done is both appalingly common in the world of business, and thoroughly deplorable. I was just observing how unappealing retail can be for developers and publishers.

  27. RP says:

    “If you don’t start dealing with problems right away then you lose respect. As a developer you have to react quickly and responsibly. Always be polite, and always write things on the forums that you’d be happy for your mom to read.”

    I love this. It’s really classy, and smart. I haven’t really heard of Paradox before, but that’s the kind of thing that makes me want to support an “interesting mid-level company”.

  28. Jimbo says:

    Party-based RPG using the physics / cover / dynamic craziness of Men of War would be amazing.

    I want to throw a fireball and set a field of wheat on fire, or take cover in a house and position my archers in the upstairs windows while blocking the doors with my warriors, only for a massive ogre to rip out one of the walls. I want said ogre to have area specific damage like the vehicles in MoW, so if I Direct Control an arrow into its face it flails around in a rage.

    Make it so, Fred Wester. Right.

    • sebmojo says:

      Oh god you are so infinitely right. Super Mediaevel Hat Thief 1130 AD: GO!

  29. BobsLawnService says:

    What a pleasant chap except for this : “…The price point was $10, and how angry can you be at having spent $10?…well, let’s say that we were not surprised that it was buggy on release, we just knew we’d have to keep putting time and resources into the game after release…”
    As long as you are charging your customers for something you have the obligation to ensure that it works more or less properly as soon as the cash changes hands. If you know it is not complete then rather show your customers a bit of respect by holding on to it for an extra few months until it is in a decent state. I suspect people are going to be a lot less understanding the next time they release something as unfinished as Magicka.

  30. Westcreek says:

    “A lot of pirates have been converted by Steam” <- that's me right there. I believe the cycle went like this:

    1) Hit 13 years of age (Your parents have unlocked the internet!)

    2) Realize i could get "free" games

    3) Gather a collection of said "free" games

    4) Hit 20 years of age (You have unlocked logical thinking!)

    5) Realize that having access to all media, games, movies, etc. meant that it lost it's value, buying things and having a limit means that things get more perceived value i guess. This is why i loved almost all games i tried as a kid, because they were all i had access to!

    6) Buy Mount & Blade from Steam sale, enjoy it alot.

    I still pirate some games rarely, for instance if i ever wanna play an activision game, but other than companies in league with satan, i buy all my games now. =)

    Not sure why i typed all that out, but i did.

    • DerShcraa says:

      Having to work yourself + Not only caring about your own ass = buying games.

      Is that what you said?

    • Nick says:

      hmm, maybe companies should try making games that target an older audience and that might result in less piracy.

    • Nimic says:

      That’s pretty much how it went for me. It’s no exaggeration to say that the availability of games on primarily Steam, but also other services like gog.com, Impulse and GamersGate, has earned the gaming industry quite a lot of money from me. Another factor is obviously simply affording these games, but I don’t think that’s the whole story.

      It also led to me buying games i had previously pirated. My Steam account has quite a few games in it that I bought long after I completed them, to put it like that.

      It’s been a while since I last downloaded a game. I suppose it’s theoretically possible that I would download a game these days, but I’d rather like to think I would buy it immediately (or as soon as I had the money) if I actually liked it.

  31. Dominic White says:

    Despite sharing the $10 price-point, the reactions to complaints about bugginess from Arrowhead regarding Magicka are about as wildly different as Kerberos’ reactions to Fort Zombie being a nearly unplayable trainwreck as can be. Arrowhead set out to patch the game once a day until it was stable. Kerberos accused those unhappy with the product of trolling and ran them out of the official forum.

    And both of these happened under the Paradox banner. One if professionalism, the other is inexcusable. I’m actually hesitant to buy Sword of The Stars 2 because of their behavior there.

    • Archonsod says:

      The difference is Kerberos stated up front it was going to be buggy as hell, it was a sneak peak of the Northstar engine which was (and is AFAIK) still in development.

      Although they can be somewhat crabbit on their forums, but then it does tend to keep the idiots, trolls and whining 14 year olds at bay.

  32. destroy.all.monsters says:

    I love this company. Love them. And 1C (though 1C’s attachment to drm is deplorable). I don’t play a lot of their games because EU III runs like a dog on my crazy old hardware but their attitude is great.

    • Archonsod says:

      Understandable though, they’re Russian. Piracy is far more endemic in the Russian market due to it’s history.

  33. Gaytard Fondue says:

    Keep up the good work, PI.
    Although a bit more variation regarding your in game music would be welcome.

  34. Premium User Badge

    sendmark says:

    Paradox Interactive is one of my favourites. Having a lot of fun with their games.

  35. Mattressi says:

    Mount & Blade: Warband is my absolute favourite game of all the games I’ve ever owned (and by quite a long way too). The combat system is just brilliant (I wish every game with swords would use directional blocking and hitting) and the open-ended SP and challenging, yet fun MP have caused me to log over 600 hours on it! (for comparison, the next largest number of hours I’ve logged on a game was around 200 on Morrowind)

    Paradox are also my favourite publisher; the innovation and complexity in all of their games is what keeps me coming back for more. I’m really looking forward to this year; it seems they’re going to have a lot of new releases, which can only be good for me – and bad for my poor wallet, which has no say in the matter.

    On a side note: I’m very disappointed in RPS’s draconian commenting system – instead of commenting under the name of ‘Fred Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive’ and saying “right”, I’ve been forced to express myself :(

    :P

  36. Fred Wester CEO of Paradox says:

    I approve of this interview.

    Of course.

  37. Navagon says:

    I’m another Paradox convert. I might not yet be completely sold on the more hardcore games like Victoria, but they’ve rapidly developed a catalogue with a great many other games that appeal to me. The Paradox complete pack is probably the best bargain I’ve ever found on Steam.

  38. NGCarver says:

    Great interview.