Hearts of Iron

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Hearts of Iron
Developer(s) Paradox Development Studio
Publisher(s) Strategy First
Producer(s) Johan Andersson
Designer(s) Henrik Fåhraeus
Joakim Bergqwist
Johan Andersson
Programmer(s) Johan Andersson
Henrik Fåhraeus
Patric Backlund
Artist(s) Dick Sjöström
Stefan Thulin
Marcus Edström
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, Mac OS X
Release date(s) November 24, 2002
Genre(s) Grand strategy
Mode(s) Single-player

Hearts of Iron is a 2002 grand strategy computer game developed by Paradox Development Studio and published by Strategy First. It was released for Microsoft Windows on November 24, 2002. A Mac OS version was also later released by Virtual Programming.

Set in the years 1936-1948, players are able to control any one nation as World War II unfolds, and form alliances with other nations.


There are three main alliances in the game, the Allies, the Axis, and the Communist International, that the player can either participate in or stay out of. The game ends when there is only one alliance left standing or on midnight, December 30, 1947, and the winning alliance is determined through a victory point system, giving points to alliances controlling key regions or cities.


The game was banned in the People's Republic of China because the game depicts Tibet, Sinkiang, and Manchuria as independent nations, and Taiwan under Japanese control (historically, Manchuria was a Japanese puppet state and Taiwan was under Japanese rule at the time).[1] Paradox Interactive mentioned that the game is historically accurate, and that it represents the "rough times" that China endured, as well as the difficulties that the Communist Party of China overcame in order to win the Chinese Civil War.[2]


A sequel, Hearts of Iron II, was created and released in 2005 with several changes in the tech tree and gameplay. Hearts of Iron III was released on August 7, 2009. Hearts of Iron - The Card Game was released as a free-to-play, browser-based collectible card game on 3 October 2011.[3] East vs. West – A Hearts of Iron Game was planned for a release in 2014, but it was cancelled. The next sequel, Hearts of Iron IV, was released on June 6, 2016.[4]

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