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Imperator: Rome beats sales targets despite “lower user ratings than expected”

It's taken a beating in Steam reviews, but the latest Paradox grand strategy title is still selling

After a great deal of anticipation, Imperator: Rome finally launched last month. Paradox’s latest grand strategy title fared well among critics – check out our review and score round-up – but long-time fans have been disappointed with the game’s lack of long-term depth. Despite that, Paradox says the Imperator’s sales are beating sales expectations.

“So far Imperator: Rome has exceeded our sales targets,” Paradox CEO Ebba Ljungerud says as part of prepared statements alongside the company’s first quarter financial report. “Gaming press reviews have been very positive, however, we see lower user ratings than expected on Steam. We take this seriously; the game team is working on analyzing these reviews and reviewing their planned roadmap with them in mind.”

Imperator’s Steam rating is down to ‘mostly negative’ after 7,363 reviews. The criticisms are pretty similar to those we’ve seen around other Paradox games in the past – it doesn’t match the features offered by previous games, and cynical fans are already bemoaning the inevitable waves of DLC that’ll come along to address that.

Exactly what shape the “planned roadmap” Ljungerud mentions will take remains to be seen, but the Paradox boss adds “This is, in many ways, business as usual for us – our game development is always in close harmony with our players and we are extremely grateful for all the feedback on how we can make the game better.”

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The full financial results only cover the quarter through March 2019, so we don’t yet have hard numbers on Imperator. Overall, the company’s revenues are down significantly compared to the same time last year, but Ljungerud attributes that to a focus on expansion, including a 47% increase in employees – from 287 to 423.