Paradox Interactive have bought Prison Architect off creators Introversion Software, nabbing the rights and assets while muttering about potentially making new 'Architect' games of their own. Introversion say that after over eight years of development, "we've taken Prison Architect just about as far as we can" and they're doing something new. If Paradox, the publishers behind strategy games and build 'em ups from Crusader Kings II to Cities: Skylines, want to give 'em moolah in exchange for something they're about done with, hey, bonus.
Paradox had already published the pocket telephone versions of Introversion's porridge-dishing simulator, and now they own the whole thing.
Paradox CEO Ebba Ljungerud said in today's announcement that they are "eager to explore development of potential new games based off of the 'Architect' IP." Interesting that she says Architect, not Prison Architect. Might we see Hospital Architect? Post Office Architect? Corner Shop Architect?
"We promise to exercise good behaviour with this cherished title going forward," Ljungerud added.
Okay, maybe not Corner Shop Architect.
"Prison Architect has been an intensely rewarding project for us," Introversion co-founder Mark Morris said in the announcement.
"Every developer loves seeing their creations come to life, but through Early Access, launch on multiple platforms and over a dozen post-launch content updates, we've been building and managing this building-and-management game for nearly a decade. I think we've taken Prison Architect just about as far as we can, and we're all eager to see where a team like Paradox can take it next! This also gives Introversion the chance to work on what we've got coming up next -- more on that soon."
Ooh the tease.
Our boy Brendy was a big of what he called "an excellent story-making game" in his glowing Prison Architect review, written after it left early access in October 2015.
"Disasters are part of daily life, death and drama occur alongside logistical cock-ups, leaving your prison without flushing toilets for days. Riots start over the dumbest oversights, and cute little men in orange uniforms barricade themselves in kitchens, murdering all the cooks. You can lose control of an entire cell block and have to call in the riot police. Once, I had to call the fire brigade three days in a row. It is the only management game that has made me feel sheepish."
Leaving early access certainly wasn't the end of development, mind. Introversion have kept on expanding it, including adding multiplayer only last month.