Crusader Kings (video game)

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Crusader Kings
Crusader Kings Coverart.png
Developer(s) Paradox Development Studio
Publisher(s) Paradox Interactive
Engine Europa Engine
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X
Release date(s)
  • EU August 27, 2004
  • NA September 28, 2004
Genre(s) Grand strategy
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Crusader Kings is a grand strategy game developed by Paradox Development Studio and published by Paradox Interactive in 2004. It is set in the time-period from December 26, 1066 until December 30, 1452. Unlike past Paradox titles (Hearts of Iron, Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun and the Europa Universalis series), Crusader Kings focuses on building a dynasty instead of a country, having similarities to role-playing video games. The lead game programmer was Johan Andersson. As with the other Paradox Interactive history games, Crusader Kings is considered a macro-management real-time strategy game (as moves are played out simultaneously and continuously) but typically involves far more planning than the fast-paced action that is usually associated with real-time strategy.

Main Features[edit]

The game has historical scenarios to start from, featuring personages such as William the Conqueror, Robert Guiscard, Alexius Comnenus, El Cid, Friedrich Barbarossa, and Edward III. Unlike past Paradox titles, there are very few predetermined historical events and no predetermined historical personages that would always appear after game start. The game simulates the lives of tens of thousands of individuals of note (courtiers and nobles), intermarrying, having children, moving, inheriting, plotting, accumulating wealth and titles, etc. Each is at birth assigned a number of inherited scores ('DNA') that determine health and fertility as well as administrative and military capabilities and the characters will, through the course of their lives, usually add a few noninherited traits that alter the scores. The qualifications and relations of individuals will highly influence their fate and is therefore of great interest to their player. This all makes for highly unpredictable game dynamics as the state of affairs on the 'world stage' is the product of the interplay of myriad events on the micro level.


One of the features of Crusader Kings is the ability to export completed save files to Europa Universalis II, an in-game converter being provided for this purpose. The online community has also developed converters for Europa Universalis III, as well as its various expansion packs. This allows a game to continue beyond Crusader Kings‍ '​ set end date.


Paradox Interactive's forum community is large and has third party tools as well as custom scenarios setups and events.


On July 31, 2007, Paradox announced an expansion to the game: Crusader Kings: Deus Vult. The game was released on 4 October 2007, and is only sold online.

The expansion pack redesigns some of the basic features of the game, such as removal of DNA inheritance of traits, religious warfare, use of friends and rivals, etc. In addition, new scripting commands were added as well as new character traits.


  • Strategy Gaming Online Editor's Choice award
  • Game Vortex Top Pick award


On February 14, 2012, a sequel, Crusader Kings II, was released.


External links[edit]