If you wanted all the expansions and content packs for Crusader Kings 2, at MSRP you'd be paying over £200. Alternatively, you now have the option to pay £4 a month to get access to all the dynasty-building RPG's DLC, thanks to a new subscription service Paradox launched yesterday. Given that the base game is free these days, yeah, not a huge surprise. They are still selling DLC separately the old-fashioned way, mind.
The subscription service gives access to 13 expansions, 12 unit packs, 14 music packs, 10 portrait packs, the Ruler Designer, and the Game Converter which exports saves to Europa Universalis IV. Some bits are better than others, and some are just decorative, but it'll all be there for subs.
"With so much additional content available, the cost for new Crusader Kings II players can seem prohibitive or intimidating," Paradox explain in the announcement. "This is an affordable way for players to experience the entire Crusader Kings II catalog without having to weigh which items they would prefer to purchase."
It makes sense. Unless you're lucky to catch one of the moments when the DLC is mega-cheap (e.g. that old bundle with all expansions for £12), buying CK2 is both confusing for not knowing where to start and intimidating for the total price. It's expensive if you just want to dabble, too. I've often wished The Sims would do something similar.
The Crusader Kings 2 Expansion Subscription is available on Steam for £4/€5/$5 per month.
The best way to play would be to wait for another ridiculous deal like that bundle, I think. The second-best would be to pick and choose the best expansions during a regular sale. But if you fancy a go for a bit, to check it out in its fully-expanded glory, this sounds okay? If you keep on top of your subs and make sure you actually do cancel when you intend to, I say as someone who realised their attempt to cancel a French newspaper subscription actually didn't go through and is now dealing with customer services in a language they barely speak.
After eight years of CK2 expansions and updates, Paradox released a sequel last year. Our Crusader Kings 3 review says it's good, yeah, but not a huge upgrade over 2.