It’s actually true: following a leak late last night, Victoria 3 has been confirmed as the next grand strategy game from Paradox Development Studios. I was half-joking when I predicted it would be announced a couple of months ago – there were other bets you could make – but it seems that the meme was too powerful to resist.
Announced today at the end of PDXCon Remixed’s opening show, Victoria 3 is a strategy game about economics, industrialisation and global diplomacy during the iconic ‘Victorian era’ of the 19th century. Starting in 1836 and rolling right through to 1936, you’ll be able to play any one of over 100 nation-states and guide it through one of the most tumultuous periods of human history.
While warfare is a strong theme for the era, Victoria 3 will focus just as much on things like politics and social movements. It's attempting to create a living, dynamic 'society simulation' where you'll spend as much time fighting your internal factions through shrewd deal making as you will another state through force of arms. One of the headline features will be a new ‘Diplomatic Play’ system, which represents the next evolution of diplomacy mechanics in these kinds of games. This system sounds especially fascinating, but we’ll dive more into it at a later date.
Let’s pause a moment to check out the announcement trailer, just in case you were still thinking this is a joke:
Like in Victoria 2 (and as we later saw in Imperator: Rome and 2.0+ Stellaris), ‘PoPs’ make a return as an important point of interaction for your nation. The world of 1836 allegedly contained around 1 billion people living in it, and these souls have all (more or less) been grouped into lots of several thousand individuals that each represent one ‘unit’ of population.
The increased influence and relevance of your population and the ‘interest groups’ that they subscribe to is an important factor in the game. These groups can wield significant power, which brings consequence to actions in a way the previous game didn’t quite model as neatly.
Martin Anward is the game director for Victoria 3. He was previously game director for Stellaris, and led the sci-fi 4X game out of launch and into its 1.5 era, which was notable for changing the way expansion, warfare, and FTL mechanics worked.
There’s so much more to talk about from our initial briefing, but we shall save it for further analysis coming over the next couple of days. Just know that it’s real, and that we will need to find a new meme. Imperator 2 when?
Related: Grab Game Pass for PC now, just so you’re ready
Victoria 3 currently has no release window, but it’s coming to Steam, Microsoft Game Pass, and the Paradox Store.