Paradox Selling “Insane Amounts” On PC

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.


  1. sfury says:

    Well I don’t know what to make of it but I bet at least Mount&Blade got quite the sell boost when they lowered it on Steam.

  2. 357SIG says:

    Johan Andersson,

    Congratulations on becoming my favorite person of 2009.

  3. Gauntt says:

    Finally some positive news coverage for the PC platform.

    Good times.

  4. Rob says:

    Good games sell well, there’s a moral in this somewhere

  5. cliffski says:

    the fact that geeky hardcore wargames sell really well fills me with joy.
    Hurrah for the PC!

  6. Dizet Sma says:

    It also helps that Paradox are modder and grognard friendly – there’s still lots of replay value in their Hearts Of Iron series.

  7. Nick says:

    Yeah, let the consoles have the flash action games.. I want turn based strategy, engrossing RPG, SPACE COMBAT games… point and click adventures… all that good stuff.

  8. skizelo says:

    Such shameless brown-nosing bumps him up to maybe my second favourite developer now. After, of course, Tarn Adams.

  9. Richard Beer says:

    The death of PC Gaming has been greatly exaggerated. Indie developers and digital distribution are going to make it the platform of choice for anyone who doesn’t want to play Gears of War 16 or GTA IX.

    Mount & Blade is the game I keep going back to even now, despite having Fallout 3, Far Cry 2, Dead Space etc etc from the major studios all over my hard drive. I never even finished Fallout 3 which, given how much I was a fan of Fallout 2, surprises even me. It just wasn’t good enough to keep my interest for that long.

  10. Chaz says:

    Maybe just as well he sticks to the PC, as I can’t see the likes of Hearts of Iron being a big hit on the consoles.

  11. Nimic says:

    I love Paradox, despite their tendency to release quite buggy games (somewhat lessened tendency lately). They will always quickly patch the game up to and far beyond the expected standard.

  12. Nakki says:

    Paradox deserves and does not deserve good amount of sales at the same time.

    Paradox games are niche and generally fun. Sadly, apart from Hearts of Iron series every single game since Europa Universalis 2 has been released with loads of very ludicrous bugs (For example Victoria 1.1 had the whole economy generate 10 times more money than it should, no-one noticed that in beta?)

    Europa Universalis 3 was a huge dissapointment. It was a deathmatch startegy game based on historical start. It has gotten quite good after 2 (non-free) expansions though.

    Saddest things with Paradox games have been two things with Europa Universalis 3. Europa Universalis 3 is very ugly compared to Paradox’s later 3D games, a very visible training game, and yet the graphics were as slow as in a modern game. Were because of the second thing, they made the game run fast enough to be playable – in an expansion.

    You’d think a company would fix a “bug” that makes the game run so slow that on most computers that most people will become very bored for free, but no. Not Paradox.

  13. Rook says:

    Civ Revolution or whatever it was managed to be a big hit on the consoles, so there’s a way to get things going to the consoles even if they seem impenetrable. It also helps developers think a little differently about what they’re doing which can help improve the PC game as well.

    It’s great to hear a developer say PC sales are strong, but not planning on a console version just seems like leaving money on the table. Same as when a console game doesn’t make it onto the PC.

  14. Nakki says:

    Oh, and on Paradox moddability. It’s far too overestimated. There are quite a few games that allow actual total conversions – even the most moddable Paradox game (Europa Universalis 3) doesn’t REALLY allow smoothly making new features or majorly changing any of the old ones.

    You mostly just change numbers that affect algorithms the game uses on various things.

    The game would be hugely moddable if their scripting system would allow even a bit more complex operations (like, instead of having to trigger a different event for every province if you make an imperial demense the emperor of HRE always will get being able to dynamically select a list of provinces and giving them to the emperor on one event)

  15. sfury says:

    @Richard Beer: “I never even finished Fallout 3 which, given how much I was a fan of Fallout 2, surprises even me. It just wasn’t good enough to keep my interest for that long.”

    You lucky bastard!

  16. DuBBle says:

    I bought HoI 2 (complete pack) on Steam t’other day, it’s really good. Thanks for providing us with the ultro-complex games I crave, Paradox!

  17. Subject 706 says:

    Well I am actually not into EU or HOI, but Paradox clearly understand how to cultivate and cater to a niche, and profit from it. (Something lots of bigger publishers fail to understand).

    They also seem to be quite good at getting certain titles exclusively to Gamersgate, such as Penumbra and King’s Bounty.

  18. shamanic miner says:

    Achievement unlocked – Treaty of Tordesillas

    Love all the paradox games, fair play to them.

  19. sfury says:

    @Subject 706 there is a Penumbra on Steam too, though only the 2nd (i think).

    I’d really love to see King’s Bounty on other places too, and not for 40 Euros please… :(

  20. The Rev Owen says:

    I bought Europa Universalis 2 to play on my NC10 as a download a couple of weeks after after twice paying for it before – CD releases of Mac and Windows versions.

  21. theleif says:

    Not only do they make lovely games, they write lovely dev diaries as well! Just look at the Hearts Of Iron 3 dd:
    link to


  22. O.G.N says:

    Apropos Hoi3, you can now sign up to the beta:
    link to

  23. PHeMoX says:

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

    No surprises there then as those games are both good and popular. I should continue my Hearts of Iron clone one of these days, lol. ^^

  24. Deuteronomy says:

    If Steam and Direct2Drive are A.I.M. then Gamersgate must be M.E.R.C. the parallel is just too strong.

  25. redpandaredpanda says:

    yay for paradox!!

  26. Rich_P says:

    One of these days I’ll be able to play a Paradox game like HoI without my brain melting. I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m too stupid or impatient to really appreciate their games. :p

  27. Ginger Yellow says:

    What Rich_P said. I can cope with Europa Universalis 3 (although I usually prefer to have some external metric to judge my success), but HoI was just too much logistically for me. I really admire it, though.

  28. Dreamhacker says:

    That’s great to hear. Now, how about putting out a few accessible games for a change?

    Sorry if I’m being too honest here…

  29. Pags says:

    Are you talking about the games they developed, or the games they published? Because if it’s the latter and you didn’t find Mount&Blade accesible enough, you’re probably just not very good at games.

    Sorry if I’m being too honest here…

  30. Kua says:

    Can some kindly person recommend a good starting point for the Paradox strategy series? Not (neccessarily) the bestest, but rather the most noob-friendly.

  31. Kua says:

    Reading up the page I see I’m not the only one who’s struggled with accessibility. M&B was fine. And tbh I didn’t give EU3 a ‘proper’ go. I’m super keen to appreciate what everyone else is harping on about.

  32. Pags says:

    Oh and let it be known that if you’re talking about the former then I sympathise because yeah, they’re difficult to get into.

    @Kua: Europa Universalis 2 would probably be the best starting point, imo.

  33. Kua says:

    Thank you kindly. I shall seek it out.

  34. FuKuy says:

    Thank God there’s still PC only developers out there…

  35. Munin says:

    Sorry but Paradox games being inaccessible is just a myth. Especially with the release of EU3, which isn’t much more complex than your average Civ 4, just with a different focus (more politics, less building and exploration)

  36. reiver says:

    They’re inaccessible because so little is explained to you and menus and options are sometimes in very obscure places. I’d put in over 50 hours into EU Rome and was still finding bits i’d missed.

  37. catska 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.

    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.

  38. Kanamit says:

    Paradox games aren’t that inaccessible. You just have to be prepared to read and ask questions at the forums for a while until you get the hang of each game.

  39. AdrianWerner says:

    catska: they are heroes because they continue to make those games instead of making those that would be able to be ported to consoles

  40. redrain85 says:

    Just ignore catska. His mission on RPS isn’t to enter into interesting or positive discussion. He’s like a broken record, it’s always the same old tune from him.

    Every comment I’ve seen him make has always been negative . . . PCs suck, PC game sales suck, PC gaming is dying, blah blah . . .

  41. redrain85 says:

    Oh yeah, BTW . . . the interview has been up for a while now at:

    link to

  42. Rich_P says:

    I’m glad outfits like Paradox exist, even if their games don’t necessarily appeal to me. Not everyone wants to play the latest graphic-hogging action shooter.

    Small developers who target niche audiences should be celebrated. If anything, we need more of them.

    If EU3 goes on sale, I might try it. But the HoI demo scarred me for life :P

  43. Lack_26 says:

    This makes me glad, I love Hearts of Iron.

  44. cowthief skank says:

    Europa Universalis 3 is one of my most-played games. I kinda like how you have to figure it all out yourself. Makes me feel special.

  45. JKjoker says:

    didn’t paradox make the freespace games ? how about a sequel, *wink* *wink* if interplay still owns the rights you could probably buy it with a few used cans an a bag of dirty underwear

  46. Tworak says:

    pc games developers turn profit while console developers are getting closed by the shit-ton


  47. sinister agent says:

    Paradox games aren’t that inaccessible. You just have to be prepared to read and ask questions at the forums for a while until you get the hang of each game.

    My sarcasm detector is having an unusually hard time with this one.

  48. Nimic says:

    For anyone trying out EU3 for the first time, the first thing you’ll want to do.. well, the first thing you want to do is download and install the latest patch, obviously. But the second thing you’ll want to do is to go to the User Modifications forum (I think you’ll need to register your game to get access), and find the “Theatrum Orbis Terrarum version 3.0” thread (currently on the second page).

    That’s a map mod which simply changes the way things look. I’m a huge fan of EU3 (particularly with the In Nomine expansion), but I don’t like the vanilla map graphics. That mod gives it a much nicer look.

  49. Nimic says:

    Oh, and if you want to try out EU3, go for the EU3 Complete package. Vanilla EU3 is a perfectly fine game (though many would have you believe otherwise, I got lots of enjoyment out of it), but with In Nomine it became a great game. With EU3 Complete you get the game plus the two expansions (you need Napoleons Ambition to be able to play In Nomine), so it’s a good deal.

  50. Britter says:

    One day, the console sheepeople will realize that PCs are the entertainment machines of the future, they handle ANY game and much, much more.
    Just think about it sheepeople, c-o-m-p-u-t-e-r! It computes, anything!