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Paradox Interactive is a Swedish video game developer based in Stockholm that is known for producing historical strategy computer games. It is also a video game publisher, publishing its own games as well as others through traditional retail channels as well as digital distribution services, such as GamersGate. The lead game programmer is Johan Andersson.
Paradox Interactive was previously a division of Paradox Entertainment, owners and developers of properties such as Conan the Barbarian as created by pulp author Robert Ervin Howard.
Each game is marked by the use of standard real-time elements but with an ability to make any and all changes while paused (and while unpaused). The games also demonstrate a commitment to historical accuracy.
Each game also has a loosely based set of "Victory Conditions" which defines the game winner as accumulating the most "points" by the closing date of the game. These points are abstracted from meeting certain goals during gameplay. Apart from world conquest the games are mostly based on an open game engine (sandbox-style game) in which the player can define their own victory.
Their games are characteristically complex, with steep learning curves and highly detailed gameplay models. The focus of each game is different, but generally a player must manage the economy, commerce, internal politics, diplomacy, technological development, and military forces of a nation.
On the support side, Paradox regularly releases patches to their games long after a game's initial release. While they often only fix small problems or tweak the game initially, some games have required patches shortly after release to make them playable. Later patches may contain large changes to the game and the way the game is played, in response to the demands and requests of fans. For more significant changes Paradox will release supplemental expansion packs and sequel products, as is the case with Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun and Europa Universalis III.
Paradox tries to make games that are open and easy to edit (moddable), from tweaking a saved game to creating an entirely new scenario. To assist modders to figure out how to edit the game on their own, the Paradox forums provide a library of "how to" advice. If modding is not the user's desire, they can download scenarios created by other users, a practice encouraged by Paradox, though Paradox does not endorse these modified game scenarios. Users download and modify games at their own risk.
One of the key features of the Paradox gaming experience is participation in the active Paradox forums. The complex nature of the games encourage players to collaborate to improve gameplay. The forums allow players to learn from the experiences of other players. Besides strategy discussions, the forums feature active communities involved in creating mods and writing after action reports on games.
Much of the gameplay information used by the engine is contained in uncompressed text and bitmap graphic files. The ability to freely edit these files has allowed an active modding community to develop. The Paradox forum is highly active and provides a way for players and modders alike to collaborate and improve gameplay and develop complex new scenarios for each title. Svea Rike III included two user created scenarios (the unhistorical "Independent Europe Scenario", and the expanded "Alternative Grand Campaign") that came directly from forum contributors, rather than by game developers. Also, the recently released Europa Universalis III was developed in close collaboration with experienced players of the earlier titles through discussions on the forum.
After action reports, usually abbreviated as AARs on the forums, provide a way for players to discuss their own gameplay in unique ways with other players. AARs are reports written by players about their experiences with a game, ranging in style from simple presentations of the development of the game with screenshots to highly embellished character-driven stories only loosely based on the events in the game. They are generally serialized in a forum topic, with every update post corresponding to a period of gameplay, and with comments and suggestions made by readers between updates.
GamersGate AB is a digital distribution service formerly operated by Paradox Interactive. In addition to Paradox Interactive titles, GamersGate distributes games from third party publishers, including distribution partnerships with THQ and Atari. GamersGate commenced trial operations in April 2006 and officially launched (entitled "Gamer's Gate") on November 20, 2006.
- Ship Simulator Extremes - PC (2010)
- Magicka - PC (2010)
- Lionheart: Kings' Crusade - PC (2010)
- Sword of the Stars II: The Lords of Winter - PC (2011)
- Pride of Nations - PC (2011)
- Magna Mundi - PC (2011)
- Supreme Ruler Cold War - PC (2011)
- Crusader Kings 2 - PC (2012)
- Tyranny - PC (2016)
- QuarterToThree (2008-03-27). QuarterToThree interview with Johan. Retrieved on 2008-04-19
- Paradox Interactive (2006-11-20). "Paradox Interactive Launches Large-Scale International Digital Distribution Service". Press release. http://www.primenewswire.com/newsroom/news.html?d=109087. Retrieved 2007-01-24.
- Paradox Interactive announces line-up for Gamescom 2010. Paradox Interactive (29 July 2010). Retrieved on 2 August 2010
- Magna Mundi. IGN. Retrieved on 1 August 2010