To restate the blimming obvious: yes, Paradox will one day turn away from Crusader Kings II expansions and make a full sequel to their historical lord management simulator. The company’s current approach to making strategy games is to expand, rework, and patch ’em for yonks before eventually jumping to a sequel when they want to make changes that would involve fiddling with the foundations. CK2 has held out longer than many Paradox series–six years and going strong–but CEO Fredrik Wester recently said (as I’m sure he has several times before?) that yes, one day the bell will toll for it too. It sounds like the time is drawing nearer, but still not here quite yet.
“We will probably do it at some point, and the reason for that is the technical depth that we have in Crusader Kings 2,” Wester told our corporate siblings at GamesIndustry.biz during PDXCon in May (and only posted on Friday).
“We can’t add much more to the game as it is now. It’s crowded. The map is really big, there’s so much content in there. It wasn’t really built for all of the expansions we made. It’s getting heavy. We might need to take the etch-a-sketch, shake it a little bit, and start over.”
It’s a perilous position. Every time they start over with a sequel, it is inevitably missing so much that years of expansions and updates had added to the previous one. It’s the same problem EA have with The Sims. Not to mention that Paradox strategy games can be a bit wonky at launch – look at how Stellaris has taken two years to start finding its feet.
Wester didn’t say when they might start over with CK2, but when it does happen you can’t say you’ve been caught off-guard. For now, Paradox are still expanding away, with Holy Fire coming to CK2 next.
We’re now in Fred’s final few days as CEO of Paradox, after almost a decade. In August he’ll become executive chairman of the board, while current board member Ebba Ljungerud will take over as CEO.