Posts Tagged ‘Paradox Interactive’

Judge Tyranny: Bastard’s Wound today

tyranny

If finishing Tyranny [official site] has left a hole that can only be filled by subjugating peasants and acting like a magical Judge Dredd, don’t fret. Bastard’s Wound, the first — but hopefully not last — Tyranny expansion is due out today. Better dust off that gavel.

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Rise up against the meatbags in Stellaris’ Synthetic Dawn DLC this month

synthetic dawn

Paradox Interactive have, unfortunately, shed their fleshy shells and embraced the ways of the machine, and they’re now slyly spreading pro-robot propaganda through the latest DLC story pack for Stellaris [official site], Synthetic Dawn. It’ll let you make all manner of machine societies when the singularity begins on September 21.

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“If you treat them as the enemy, it’s not going to be a good relationship.” Obsidian’s Feargus Urquhart on publishers

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Since its foundation in 2003, Obsidian Entertainment has worked with seven different publishers. Commencing with LucasArts on Knights of the Old Republic II, Obsidian has since signed contracts with Atari, SEGA, Bethesda, Square Enix, Ubisoft and most recently, Paradox Interactive. In fact, up until Pillars of Eternity [official site], every single game Obsidian had made was funded and distributed by a different publisher.

This is a highly unusual state of affairs, and has proved precarious more than once in the company’s history. But it has also provided Obsidian with a unique insight into how the world of publishing works, and how the relationship between developer and publisher has changed in the last couple of decades. This topic is especially pertinent today, as new methods of funding and distributing games have seen a significant shift in the power dynamic between developers and publishers.

I spoke to CEO Feargus Urquhart about how it all works (and doesn’t).

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I’m guilty of doing very silly things to Bohemia in Europa Universalis 4

bohemia

As a wayward youth, I spent many an hour scribbling willies of all shapes and sizes on school jotters. As a respectable, responsible adult, I’ve graduated to ruining multiplayer games instead. Specifically online games of Europa Universalis 4. Bohemia is my muse, and I’ll never stop trying to make it look like a winky.

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Exploring the dark side of Cities: Skylines – Green Cities

greencit2

Green Cities might look like urban paradise, but beneath the lush vertical gardens, something sinister is percolating. Sure, the draped greenery clinging to the side of the new high density apartment blocks looks attractive, but it’s also reminiscent of post-human imagery; nature reclaiming the land. Zoom out far enough, so that the little cars and people are less apparent, and it’s not a great leap from green city to Twelve Monkeys, I Am Legend and The Last Of Us.

But forget the future for a moment because the now of Cities: Skylines [official site] upcoming expansion isn’t the paradise it initially seems to be. Your attempts to create an environmentally friendly utopia might end with the construction of a new Silicon Valley. The road to hell is paved with reclaimed wood and good intentions.

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Meteors rain on the Red Planet in Surviving Mars trailer

surviving mars

Surviving Mars [official site] looks like it’s shaping up nicely, if you ask me. Made by Tropico 3 developers Haemimont, it’s a base-building game set on the Red Planet in which you hunt for resources to power settlements housed in giant glass domes.

Judging by the new trailer, featuring the first in-game footage, it’s one to keep an eye on: there’s the snappy animations of games like Cities: Skyline (which shares a publisher – Paradox Interactive) when you place a structure down, be that a twirling generator or a solar panel. And those domes are full of colour and provide a real contrast to the red around them. But, as the trailer suggests, it’s not simply an idyllic space holiday because there will be disasters like meteor strikes to try and get through.

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Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon expansion announced

The next expansion for Crusader Kings II [official site] will introduce China as a power offering potential riches or ruin depending on how you play the cards. Paradox today announced the Jade Dragon expansion, “coming soon”. It’s not properly adding China to the world of Crusader Kings II, mind, rather as an “off-map influence” accessed through a “China screen” with the pertinent options and information. No, that’s not nearly as fun. Read the rest of this entry »

Tyranny: Bastard’s Wound starts oozing in September

Oh so it’s fine for Obsidian to name the first Tyranny [official site] expansion Bastard’s Wound but it’s “inappropriate” and “a sackable offence” for me to rename the RPS news section to Horace’s **** Shower of ****shack Bucket**** [that is correct -ed.]. Wow, what a double standard! Fine then. Bastard’s Wound, you may already know, is off to a new area for ten or so hours of questing and to better get to know several companions. Now publishers Paradox have announced that Bastard’s Wound will launch on September 7th, two weeks away. Read the rest of this entry »

Cities: Skylines erects Green Cities expansion this year

If the recent launch of the Concerts “mini-expansion” for Cities: Skylines [official site] made you wish the city-builder would get something more substantial, good news! Paradox today announced the Green Cities expansion for release later this year. As you might expect, it will let you turn your cities all hippy-dippy with everything from organic shops to plant-clad buildings. It bungs in a load of new assets for these and more, which should be nice for making cities more varied. Have a peek in the trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Fyre it up! Cities: Skylines launches Concerts DLC

How difficult can organising a music festival be? Oh, right. Well! If you’ve got the moxie despite being woefully underqualified, you can now step up and organise concerts with the latest “mini-expansion” for city-builder Cities: Skylines [official site]. It lets players build festival grounds, host bands, and hopefully not end up with a musical mega-hell. It’s not a deep business simulation but might be a bit of fun to brighten up your city. Read the rest of this entry »

BattleTech delayed into 2018

The turn-based tactical BattleTech [official site] “is the mech game I’ve always wanted”, our Adam declared after playing a bit. “It’s likely to be one of my favourite games of 2017,” he said. Well then. Let’s blame him for flipping well jinxing it, as BattleTech is now delayed. It was due later this year but is instead now pushed into some time in “early 2018”. Why the delay? The people making BattleTech — Shadowrun Returns devs Harebrained Schemes — say it’s to make the game good, yeah? Read the rest of this entry »

Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn DLC adding proper robot civs

It’s robo a go-go with the next Stellaris [official site] DLC, Paradox announced today. Due later this year, the Synthetic Dawn Story Pack DLC will let players start as mechanical men, with new events, ships, traits, story beats, and so on. The spacefaring strategy game already lets players transcend their flesh and become synthetics deep down a tech tree but ick, who wants to have ever been meat at all? Shameful.

As is customary, a big free update will launch alongside this paid expansion. Update 1.8, nicknamed ‘Čapek’ after the Czech writer who popularised the word ‘robot’, brings changes to habitability, hive minds, and more. Read the rest of this entry »

The Joy Of creating citizen stories in Cities: Skylines

Cities: Skylines [official site] is a game in which every single citizen has a name, home and (if you’re playing it reasonably effectively) job, but nobody matters in the slightest. For a game with such a chummy, chipper tone, it’s weirdly cold. Dozens of people might leave town in protest at your mayoral ineptitude, or tens of thousands of people might die in a freak sewage accident, and not only does the game not care, it doesn’t even try to make you care either.

There are eight million stories in the reasonably well-developed city, but if I want a human connection to any of them, I have to build it myself.
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Paradox giving games to customers affected by regional price rises

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Paradox Interactive acquire Age of Wonders 3 studio

Paradox Interactive have acquired Age of Wonders 3 [official site] developer Triumph Studios, the pair announced today. It doesn’t look like the sale is ushering in too many changes, however. Triumph’s current team will remain with the studio, and all projects in development will continue, but now they’ll be published by Paradox. No fantasy-themed Europa Universalis for us quite yet.

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Paradox reverting recent regional price increases

Paradox Interactive, the gang behind games including Crusader Kings and Hearts of Iron, have pledged to undo their recent increases to regional prices across much of the world. While many of the price rises were minor, others were huge. For example, the price of Stellaris in Russia went from 699₽ to 1199₽. Paradox had said the increases were “to make our prices match the purchasing power of those areas” but have since decided they communicated this poorly, so they will roll the prices back. Read the rest of this entry »

Europa Universalis IV and Hearts of Iron IV DLC looks to the East

Look at that wee tank!

Adam is away at E3 and thus someone who isn’t Adam needs to develop emotions and/or words regarding the new DLC available for two of Paradox’s grand strategy games, Europa Universalis IV [official site] and Hearts of Iron IV [official site]. That person is me so I was hoping that somehow it was an under-the-sea expansion of some kind. The fact that the DLCs are called Third Rome and Death or Dishonor respectively implies not. I’ll wear my snorkel just in case, though. Read the rest of this entry »

Hearts of Iron 4 celebrates first birthday with free DLC

It seems unconventional to celebrate what is essentially World War 2 kicking off but hey, Hearts of Iron IV [official site] launched a year ago today and Paradox are marking it with the gift of free DLC. The small ‘Anniversary Pack’ freebie brings Polish voices for Polish troops, twenty new portraits for leaders and generals, and twenty new icons for divisions. Not huge, but nice to have.

Paradox have also crunched some numbers from the past year of play, noting that the active playerbase is still growing, and sharing stats such as: 60% players use mods. Read the rest of this entry »

Paradox on the future of historical strategy, RPGs and their internal development studio

At the Paradox Convention last month, I was hoping to see something new from Paradox Development Studio, the internal team responsible for the company’s core strategy titles. There were new expansions for Europa Universalis IV [official site] and Hearts of Iron IV [official site], and the hiring of Jon Shafer is an interesting move, but no actual games were announced. I sat down with creative director Johan Andersson and CEO Fredrik Wester about the possibility of a Crusader Kings [official site] sequel, the expansion model, and what the future holds for the development side of Paradox.

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BattleTech is the mech game I’ve always wanted

BattleTech [official site] finally brings mechs and mercs back to their turn-based tactical roots, and if the combat is backed by a worthy campaign mode, it’s likely to be one of my favourite games of 2017. I’ve only played the skirmish mode, against AI opponents, so I can’t assess the quality of the campaign. But the actual mech clashes are absolutely glorious, and as spectacular as any turn-based battles I’ve ever seen.

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