The received wisdom about Paradox’s grand strategy games is that on launch, they act as hooks to get players teed up for a lengthy string of DLC. As news of the announcement of Crusader Kings III hit social media, long-time fans joked about getting ready to “nuke their bank balances” or set their wallets on fire. But Paradox’s head of business development says the company now is offering players the best value for money in town.
“I think that we have, objectively, the business model that gives our fans the most value,” Shams Jorjani told us at PDXCon. “There’s no other business model that allows us to give away this much shit for free.”
Jorjani was emphatic, as he has been in the past – Paradox games do have a tonne of post-launch DLC, and for the past couple years he’s been saying that the problem has been in the way Paradox presents this new content to players. Players have been conditioned to believe that their game is incomplete or even broken without a complete set of DLC, but both Jorjani and Paradox CEO Ebba Ljungerud have been emphasizing the message that this isn’t the case with their games.
“We can go toe to toe with anyone who’s released any game and supported it with the level of support we’ve given,” he said. “We do a poor job of explaining this to customers, because they’re conditioned by how every other game works.”
With other games, Jorjani says, players often look at the list of available DLC and work out what they need for a ‘good game experience,’ but for Paradox’s titles, like Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV, the DLC functions as optional add-ons, things that might appeal to certain players but aren’t at all crucial parts of the experience.
“You don’t need leather seats in a car; the car comes with seats,” he said. “Leather seats are extra. You still get a pretty cool car.”