Paradox have started handing out games as compensation to those affected by their recent surprise regional price hikes. Prices went up by only a few percent for some people but almost doubled for others. Paradox have reverted the prices now. They had thought they might be able to give partial refunds but that's proved unworkable.
Instead, anyone who bought Paradox products at the higher prices -- which were between May 17th and July 6th -- is eligible to claim a game from a list including Stellaris and Crusader Kings II, or alternatively two bits of select DLC.
The price rises in certain regions were "to make our prices match the purchasing power of those areas", Paradox said - evening out prices across the world. The problem was that the changes come out of nowhere and without explanation. Suddenly, prices of Paradox's games near-doubled in some regions.
Company CEO Fredrik Wester later apologised, saying "You deserve more transparency and better communication from Paradox when it comes to changing of our prices and pricing policy."
Paradox didn't revert the prices immediately after making the decision because, they say, the Steam Summer Sale was in full fling and they'd be required to remove the games from the sale. Now that's over, they're putting the prices back to pre-adjustment figures. They say they'll be frozen at this level for three months.
After that, I wouldn't be surprised if Paradox do raise them in places -- it's fairly standard business for publishers -- but they'll surely be a lot clearer next time.
Anyway! Paradox had considered partial refunds but now say that "after exploring options with our sales partners, we've come to the conclusion that partial refunds (as in, refunding the price difference) aren't practically possible." Instead, compensatory games!
They explain, "we will gift everyone who purchased any Paradox product between May 17 and today (including pre-orders of Steel Division: Normandy 44 made before May 17), in any currency except USD (where prices were not changed), a free copy of a full PC game or two DLC, as a gesture of goodwill."
Eligible players can pick one of these games:
- Crusader Kings 2
- Europa Universalis IV
- Hearts of Iron IV
- Magicka 2
Or, alternatively, any two of these DLCs:
- CK II: Monks and Mystics
- EU IV: Third Rome
- HoI IV: Death or Dishonor
- Stellaris: Utopia
- Tyranny: Tales from the Tiers
Those are some solid games and and the newest DLCs.