Five and a half years ago, grand strategy minds Paradox published a medieval sandbox RPG which took Sid Meier’s Pirates! and Elite as its inspirations: Mount and Blade. Two more iterations and an explosive (and explosively buggy) little thing named Magicka helped establish the Swedish publishers as champions of the weird on PC, but now the tentpole must come down. Today, TaleWorlds are riding their winning franchise off into the sunset.
“It’s been five and a half years since Mount and Blade was released, five and a half years of sieges, tournaments and pitched open-field battles, and of course, the odd expansion or two!,” wrote Paradox in a forum post.
“We feel honoured to have fought beside you.”
By way of compensation to mourning Mount & Bladers, Paradox are gifting Steam players Early Access invitations to the reportedly excellent Magicka: Wizard Wars alpha.
“One of our internal studios, Paradox North, is currently hard at work on a spell-casting action PvP game,” explain the publishers. “As we know that you are all fans of fast-paced tactical combat we feel that you would be equally as adept with a robe and staff as you are with sword and shield.”
The parting of ways will presumably mean an independent release for the tremendous-looking Mount & Blade 2. Which, frankly, can probably tear up Steam’s front page without Paradox’s cash or know-how.
Paradox have a history of amicable splits with their clients. They loved and left permadeath MMO Salem last year - simply because it was “chugging along” at a rate of profit befitting its two-man development team, rather than Paradox’s far larger infrastructure.
Our Fraser put Mount & Blade: Warband on his list of the 15 best RPGs on PC. The question is, I suppose, was he right? He often is, but I do so enjoy it when he isn’t.