Hearts of Iron IV was released on June 6, 2016, making this year the fifth anniversary of the WW2 grand strategy game – a milestone it shares with Stellaris. It’s only relatively recently that the idea of a strategy game being supported this long after launch has been accepted as normal, and Crusader Kings II received nearly a decade’s worth of expansions before CK3 came along.
The developers at Paradox Development Studios are celebrating the occasion in a couple of ways. Firstly, two new cosmetic add-ons have been released, one called the Eastern Front Planes pack, and the other the Eastern Front Music pack. The former adds 50 new plane models across six nations, while the latter offers new radio tracks for Germany, the Soviet Union, Romania, and Poland.
There are also some developer streams running on Twitch. There will be two anniversary-themed multiplayer sessions today and tomorrow, each starting at 5pm CEST / 11am EST / 8am PDT and running for five hours until 10pm CEST / 4pm EST / 1pm PDT.
A special stream was also run where the developers spent a few hours looking at old builds of the game, all the way back to pre-launch 0.8 times:
Did you know there wasn’t even a ‘pick any country’ option back then?
You can also read this week’s developer diary if you want to see what quality of life changes are coming down the pipe. The upcoming expansion No Step Back (and its accompanying free patch) will be focused on land warfare, so many of the tweaks talked about focus on smaller fixes connected to ground combat.
For example, you can now mark division templates in the division designer as obsolete, re-order templates in the templates list, and there will be less spam around multiple countries joining your wars.
Related: The best Hearts of Iron 4 mods
At the time of writing, there’s no release date for No Step Back, but there’s plenty of other Hearts of Iron 4 DLC you can check out in the meantime.