Commercial Strategies: Paradox Open New Web Store

By Adam Smith on January 21st, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

This chap delivers all Paradox press releases to my royal chambers by hand. His name is Skegbury Twix.

A double-blast sounded from the Paradox news-horn this afternoon. The first tone was very much the sound of the company blowing its own trumpet and with good reason, as there are now over half a million subscribers to the Paradox forums. The second trembling note heralded the arrival of a new Paradox webstore, with discounts of 55% on several titles to celebrate the launch. It’s not the most navigable of stores as I write this That’s better – there’s a proper storefront now. Among other discounts, Crusader Kings II is £13.50 at the moment.

Half a million forum members is a lot, but big numbers aren’t necessarily worthy of mention on their own. The Paradox forums are fine places to visit though, with plenty of interaction between fans and developers, and all sorts of in depth discussions and helpful guides. CEO Fredrik Wester had this to say:

“We got our start in strategy and those games continue to drive forum conversations, whether they’re tearing us apart because of a few historical liberties taken in Crusader Kings, or telling us they can’t wait for some of our newer action titles like Dungeonland or The Showdown Effect. Our sincere thanks to all 500,000 of you loyal lunatics.”

Speaking of Dungeonland, it was due for release tomorrow but has been pushed back to the 29th of this month in order to provide a better launch experience.

Oh, and as I finish this post, the forums have collapsed. I think all 500,000 members just signed in at once to express their gratitude for the gift in their inbox. Do take a look if you’re a member.

Edit: They seem to be back now!

, .

70 Comments »

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  1. Dijeangenie says:

    Crusader Kings 2 is also £12.86 now on amazon for the physical version :)

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crusader-Kings-II-PC-CD/dp/B006NU6M5S/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1357254761&sr=8-1

  2. killias2 says:

    You gotta love how this is the -second- webstore launched by Paradox. GamersGate was founded as an outlet for Paradox, but it was spin off relatively quickly.

    • Jason Lefkowitz says:

      Yeah, this has actually become a bit of a sore point for me. I got into the habit of buying my Paradox titles via GamersGate back when the two companies were more closely connected — since GG was “the Paradox download service,” that seemed like the natural thing to do.

      Now though Paradox seems to be moving closer to Steam instead. That wouldn’t normally be a problem (except for the usual Steam DRM issues) except now they’re talking about having Linux versions of games like CK2, but only making them available for those who bought through Steam.

      I assume this is connected to Valve’s push for Steam-on-Linux, but it does make me feel a bit like a chump for having bought CK2 through GamersGate. Which is sort of the opposite of how I want to feel as a longtime customer and supporter of Paradox going all the way back to EU1, you know?

      • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

        remings me a lot of the Stardock/Impuse situation, a capable DD service that turned completely unusable for anyone outside the US. But at least there I had the possibility to get my copies of GalCiv1&2 DRM-free from Stardock’s website afterwards.

      • Premium User Badge

        Llewyn says:

        On the other hand, I’m so glad that I bought CKII from GG rather than Steam as it’s given me reliable control over exactly which patch I’m playing with – I can take as long as I want to finish my current game on 1.06b, knowing that I won’t have to deal with Steam either auto-updating or telling me I can’t launch the game until I update it.

        • terkanmeisa says:

          3-IN-1 Dock Station Charger for iPhone5/iPod 5th, Nano, iPad (White)! 12.9 U.S. dollars! To be surprised! Is the price! This is the best! http://ujeb.se/FhjuV

    • pertusaria says:

      I had wondered why GamersGate seemed more strategy-game-friendly than Steam up to about six months ago, when Steam started picking up strategy games. Thanks for clearing that up for me. :)

  3. President Weasel says:

    Still not sure who this “Fredrik Wester” fellow is supposed to be. Everyone knows the CEO of Paradox Interactive is Sir Roger Paradox-Interactive.

  4. Zakski says:

    I am loving the free game they gave away

  5. TCM says:

    The forums have been a bit broken all morning. I wonder if this is why.

  6. Bayonnaise says:

    After bouncing off it several times, I finally watched a few YouTube videos to understand what the hell was going on in Crusader Kings II over the weekend – now thoroughly engrossed.

    • derbefrier says:

      Yep same here. This was the weekend all the little pieces came together for me after watching YouTube tutorials and messing around in the game for the past week or so feeling completely lost.
      Now I have managed to conquer about half of ireland after taking advantage of the weakend state of a divided Ireland after a holy war started by the pope to capture Jerusalem. The pope hates me now but that’s nothing a little coin can’t take care of.. oh crap now my brother is plotting against me?

      Man I am loving this game now.

      • Bayonnaise says:

        Ha, I think we must have watched the same tutorial – I’m halfway through Ireland too. Once you get the basics – and the key point that it’s entirely up to you what you try and do – it’s great.

    • Choca says:

      It really is quite a marvelous game.

      I started a new game as an insignificant Count last week-end and ended up as a Duke in just a decade thanks to some devious scheming… that ultimately led to my end because everyone in the Duchy wanted my head on a spike.

    • Fierce says:

      Perhaps the two of you (Bayonnaise and derbefrier) can post links to the Youtube videos you used to get into the game? While the memory is fresh and to help others?

      I too have tried to get into the game and yet haven’t found these video grails you speak of.

      • matnym says:

        I would really suggest watching Quill18. His videos are very high quality with good audio levels and thorough explanations. You’ll also find plenty of good tips and feedback in his comments.

        Here’s his playthrough as Castille:
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6AW1UcAe_DA&list=SP00710A27BF49E193&index=1

        And here’s his newest (and still ongoing) playthrough as Venice in the new Republic expansion:

        • sophof says:

          Quill18 got me started on CK2 after I was watching his Civ5 videos, I concur with this recommendation ;-)

          It is a shame CK2 needs this, but once you get over that first hurdle it is a great game! I would just wish for a better interface at this point. All actions are either very ’roundabout’ or hidden. Still don’t get why I can’t type my own filter. I want only to see unmarried Scottish women with minimum 10 diplomacy pls :P

      • Bayonnaise says:

        I watched the first 4 parts of this guy’s tutorials. They’re a bit slow and rambling, but they do a really good job of explaining the basics to get you started. Get a bit over the top and walkthrough-y beyond the first four, mind.

      • derbefrier says:

        I also believe the one i watched is now in the steam game hub in the guides section now. At least its one of the ones I watched. I have to admit even after watching several hours of tutorial vids I still barely had a grasp. I knew the individual systems and how they worked but the big picture still escaped me. It wasn’t until i just started playing that it all came together but when it does its brilliant.

    • Premium User Badge

      ffordesoon says:

      Oh, God, it’s such a terrific game, isn’t it? First Paradox game I’ve been able to really get into, and it’s so great. I should probably watch those videos, though, as I still find myself confused fairly often. I kind of don’t want to, though; accidentally sending my best courtier off to Abyssinia because I don’t understand what a matrilineal marriage does is half the fun for me.

      It’s also my go-to example when I argue that it’s possible to make an enormously complex interface elegant and salable to a mass (or at least less niche) audience without removing any of the complexity. The small details they’ve patched in more recently (the ability to choose an ambition without going to a separate tab, the flags that show whether or not you’ll get an alliance from a marriage, the thumbs-up and thumbs-down icons that show whether or not someone will support your plot, etc.) have only improved matters. When the final build of Dwarf Fortress is released in 2028, I hope it’ll have a similarly well-done interface, or one that’s even better (perhaps heavily inspired by Crusader Kings XII?).

  7. Attrition says:

    The forum link appears to go to a parked domain, not the paradox forums. Also there is no link in the article to the actual webstore.

    Forum: http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/

    The forum is currently experiencing difficulty, probably due to this announcement.

    • Adam Smith says:

      Corrected the forum link.

      The webstore didn’t have a storefront – or more likely it had crashed – when I first posted the story. Added that link as well.

  8. Mortomes says:

    The link in the article to the forums is wrong, it should be http://forum.paradoxplaza.com/forum/

  9. Poppis says:

    Wow, free Europe Universalis 3 Chronicles. Thank you!

    • HothMonster says:

      Yeah, always nice to start the day by getting free video games.

  10. Mario Figueiredo says:

    With Europa Universalis: Chronicles gift on my mail box, this is the third gift I got from Paradox in a little over 12 years of being a loyal — yet peeved sometimes — fan of this company that took my heart the very day I bought Europa Universalis.

    No other commercial company, none, has ever done this to me. For this reason alone, Paradox I salute you and wish you a bright future ahead. You epitomize the relationship I wished existed between consumers and video game developers/publishers.

    • The Random One says:

      I imagine one of the other free games was Cities in Motion for answering a pool; what was the other?

    • Premium User Badge

      Fede says:

      From GamersGate I got Victoria 1 + expansion a couple of years ago.
      Last year GamersGate gifted Cities in Motion to the people who answered their survey.

      This time I got nothing at all. Maybe because I already have EU3:IN?
      (edit: not complaining, simply curious)

      • Premium User Badge

        Stellar Duck says:

        I’ve got EU3, EU3 Complete, Nappys Ambitions, Heir to the Throne and Divine Wind and I got this one in the mail. I doubt that’s the reason.

        Edit:
        You have an account on the forums? If so, then I don’t know. Check your spam folder? If not, then that’s why.

        • Premium User Badge

          Fede says:

          Yup, I’ve been registered for about 4 years, and no, nothing on the spam folder. Oh well.

          • Premium User Badge

            Malibu Stacey says:

            You have to have signed up for the newsletter apparently to get the e-mail with your EU3: Chronicles code which kind of makes sense as if you’re not signed up for the newsletter, they’re not going to send you a newsletter which contains a code for a free game.

  11. Premium User Badge

    Devilturnip says:

    I keep trying to get into Crusader Kings II, but the tutorial crashes on me literally the first time I hit a button.

    • Premium User Badge

      Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Touch not that turd of a tutorial. It is a devilish plot by Satan himself to prevent you from playing. View some video tutorials to not only understand how to do something, but why you want to.

      • Mario Figueiredo says:

        Indeed!

        Check Let’s Play videos on YouTube. Look for TekkorGJC Let’s Play and tutorials, for instance. He’s eloquent and entertaining and won’t bore you. Also he started the game pretty much with little knowledge on it, which makes his learning experience as the videos evolve of enormous value to you.

        Also get from the official forums (on the FAQ section) the Guide to CKII (in PDF format). It’s the compilation of a series of posts made by Meneth (a forum user) that will give you pretty much all you require to better understand the game mechanics. I can’t provide you a link because the forums are currently DDown. But it’s easy to spot. it’s on the FAQ subforum of Cursader Kings II.

        These two will become all you need to seriously (I mean, seriously) enjoy this game.

    • Premium User Badge

      strangeloup says:

      I had the same problem and it was replicated by a kind soul in the comments, who pointed me to some more useful videos (elsewhere in this thread) if I wanted a tutorial, but suggested I’d have more fun by just jumping in.

      I did so, and am having a most enjoyable (if periodically confusing) time being King Bastard of Norway.

  12. Didero says:

    Am I missing something, or do they not list the price of the game on the page for that game?
    Because if so, that’s pretty weird.

  13. oxykottin says:

    Every time I see that picture, I think of the kid from Tool time. It drives me nuts. As the poster below stated, Home Improvement not Tool Time.

    Does anyone agree?

    http://www.starfetch.com/keywords/Jonathan_Taylor_Thomas/Jonathan_Taylor_Thomas_17.jpg

    • Berzee says:

      Excuse me, sir, but I believe you mean the kid from HOME IMPROVEMENT
      I AM ROLLING MY EYES SO HARD AT YOU RIGHT NOW
      (probably there was at leas tone episode where the kids got to be on tooltime though)

  14. Havok9120 says:

    For those with interest in near-pure wargames of the AGEOD stripe, go buy Rise of Prussia while it’s on sale. It is a marvelous game. It is smaller and more polished than the massive American Civil War or even Birth of America.

    Beware the winter weather. And the Prussians, as they tend to get rather pissy when you try and send a doomstack or three at Dresden.

    • Premium User Badge

      Stellar Duck says:

      I hesitate to do that. I still can’t get Pride of Nations to actually load up, so I’m not to keen on trying again. Which is a shame as I’d like to play it.

      • Premium User Badge

        ffordesoon says:

        The thing that put me off Pride Of Nations is the amount of time it takes to load each turn. I love the idea of the game, but I just can’t get past waiting a full minute or two for my (probably useless) changes to take effect. If they need to improve anything about the engine, it’s that. At the very least, give me something interesting to look at while I wait!

      • Havok9120 says:

        PoN is waaaaaayyyy different than the other AGEOD games. PoN has much more in common with standard Paradox fare than AGEOD had ever attempted before. RoP and the like chuck diplomacy totally out the window and economics is only marginally represented. PoN’s main issues are performance related, a problem you will almost certainly not have with AGEOD’s standard games.

        PoN and Ageod’s World War One should not be used to judge AGEOD’s Athena-engine games, as they have little to nothing in common with each other.

  15. Velko says:

    “Fine places to visit”, eh. I’d rather say that the misogyny, racism and homophobia there is merely on a higher literary level than your average internet forum.

  16. Machinations says:

    In summary, Crusader Kings 2 is heads and shoulders above any other recently created strategy game.

    While Civ V goes backwards, attempting to simplify the game mechanics to the point of a board game – and losing many fans and certainly my dollars in the future – Paradox is refining perfection.

    Firaxis, take note – you cannot compete with Zynga ; making your games for an audience of drooling imbeciles is only going to cost you in the long run. XCOM was not bad, but still a bastardization and I will never forgive the debasement of CIV into a ‘casual-friendly’ game – oh, one without animations in multiplayer, because it was 2010 and animations are HARD STUFF.

    I still have the original Alpha Centauri manual on my desk – probably the best 4X game ever made. Sad thing is, if Firaxis remade it (as they should have long ago) I wouldn’t be able to purchase it for months until I was certain that they didnt pull another CIV V.

    Hmm this seems to be a rant about CIV V spectactuarly underwhelming fans, instead of how CK2 is simply amazing.

    Well, CK2 is amazing, that is certain. Buy this game, even if it looks too complex. Its really not. I also recommend playing it as a roguelike – saving and reloading constantly takes lots of the fun out.

    /rant

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      CKII is good I’ll give you that but it’s not without it’s problems. Game balance is something which doesn’t exist in the vanilla game and there are some really horrendous ‘win’ buttons to use & abuse.

  17. Aldehyde says:

    Hm, I did not receive a game in my mail or on the forums themselves despite having been a member for a while. Oh well.

  18. Zanchito says:

    Damn, I never noticed the inscription on CKII cover guy’s shield says “Dezdichado” which means “Unhappy” in spanish. :S He certainly doesn’t look spanish, though.

    • Sotto Voce says:

      Sir Walter Scott’s Spanish was far from perfect. Out of curiosity, what did they change “Desdichado” to in Spanish translation of “Ivanhoe”?

      • 917 says:

        In the spanish version it is translated as Desdichado too, I don’t see why you would change it even if the meaning might not be accurate

    • 917 says:

      I had not realised either.

      It is deSdichado (meaning unlucky, ill-fated)

      By the way, how is a spaniard supposed to look like? Plenty of blonde blue-eyed spaniards

      PD: As Sotto Voce says, it must be a reference to Ivanhoe

      “On the first day of the tournament, a bout of individual jousting, a mysterious masked knight, identifying himself only as “Desdichado” (which is described in the book as Spanish for the “Disinherited One”, though actually meaning “Unfortunate”), makes his appearance and manages to defeat some of the best Norman lances”