Paradox Development Studio

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Paradox Development Studio
TypeSubsidiary of Paradox Interactive
IndustryVideo games
Founded1995; 28 years ago (1995)
Area served
Key people
Johan Andersson
(Studio manager)
ProductsEuropa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, Victoria, Crusader Kings, Imperator, and Stellaris series
Number of employees
150 (2021)[1]
ParentParadox Interactive

Paradox Development Studio (PDS) is a Swedish video game developer founded in 1995. It is closely associated with its parent company and video game publisher, Paradox Interactive. It is best known for its grand strategy wargame series Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, Victoria, Crusader Kings, Stellaris, and Imperator.


PDS is based on the heritage of the Swedish board game company Target Games, and has been a game developer of PC-focused grand strategy games since 1995, including the Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, Victoria, Crusader Kings, Stellaris, and Imperator series. The company continued to create PC games and in 1999, the company was divided into two separate entities: Paradox Interactive, which focused on creating grand strategy games for PC, and Paradox Entertainment, which focused on creating board and role-playing games.

In January 2012, the company divided yet again into two studios, becoming Paradox Interactive and Paradox Development Studio. Paradox Interactive became the game publisher focused on PC games of various genres and Paradox Development Studio became the game development studio focused on grand strategy games.

The game development studio was one of the first video game developers to create games in the grand strategy genre, and most of the games the studio has developed fall into that category. Grand strategy games are strategy games that usually cover the entire world map and include elements such as economy, diplomacy and warfare.


In 2021, Paradox Development Studio has reorganized and split into five internal development teams, with each one handling one of the Paradox's own IPs.[2][3]

Name Studio Lead Game
PDS Green Rikard Åslund Stellaris
PDS Black Linda Tiger Crusader Kings III
PDS Red Johanna Uddståhl Friberg Victoria 3
PDS Gold Thomas Johansson Hearts of Iron IV
Paradox Tinto Johan Andersson Europa Universalis IV

While this left Imperator: Rome without a dedicated development team, PDS leads stated that they are figuring out how they will return to the series in time.[4]

Game engines[edit]

To date, Paradox have engineered two main proprietary game engines for their titles, Europa and Clausewitz. Both were also designed to be open to anyone who wishes to modify the original game files to create mods. As a result, games can be modded with as little as a text editor, which has led to the development of strong modding communities for each of Paradox's games.[5]

Paradox developed its debut game Europa Universalis in 2000, and used large chunks of its code for its next games. Although this code overlap was subsequently referred to as the Europa Engine, studio manager Johan Andersson clarified that the 'engine' had not been part of the initial designs of each of the company's first six games, and that it just resulted from copy-pasting large parts of code from one game to the next.[6] In April 2008, Paradox allowed certain indie game developers to freely use the (by then) superseded engine as part of their Europa Engine Licensing Program.[7][8][9] The move led to the development of games such as For the Glory, Arsenal of Democracy, Darkest Hour, and Iron Cross.

In 2007, the studio debuted a new game engine, called Clausewitz Engine in Europa Universalis III.[10] Named after the Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz, the new engine provides a 3D view of part or the totality of the world map, depending on the played game. Sengoku (released 2011) was the first game utilizing the Clausewitz 2 engine. The studio's 17th game, Imperator: Rome (released 2019), was also built using Clausewitz, but with the addition of new 64-bit software known as "Jomini" (named after 19th century Swiss general Antoine-Henri Jomini)[11] that allows for better 3D rendering and easier creation of mods. The newly improved engine now also features support for DirectX 11.[12]

List of games developed[edit]

List of games developed by Paradox Development Studios.[13] Note that in addition to this list there are two other games developed in the early 2000s when the studio was part of Paradox Entertainment, Crown of the North and Two Thrones, both part of the Svea Rike series.

Europa Engine[edit]

Name Released Expansions Date
Europa Universalis 2000
Europa Universalis II 2001
Hearts of Iron 2002
Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun 2003 Revolutions 2006
Crusader Kings 2004 Deus Vult 2007
Hearts of Iron II 2005 Doomsday 2006
Armageddon 2007

Clausewitz Engine[edit]

Name Released Expansions Date
Europa Universalis III 2007 Napoleon's Ambition 2007
In Nomine 2008
Heir to the Throne 2009
Divine Wind 2010
Europa Universalis: Rome 2008 Vae Victis 2008
Hearts of Iron III 2009 Semper Fi 2010
For the Motherland 2011
Their Finest Hour 2012
Victoria II 2010 A House Divided 2012
Heart of Darkness 2013
Sengoku 2011
Crusader Kings II 2012 Sword of Islam 2012
Legacy of Rome
Sunset Invasion
The Republic 2013
The Old Gods
Sons of Abraham
Rajas of India 2014
Way of Life
Horse Lords 2015
Conclave 2016
The Reaper's Due
Monks and Mystics 2017
Jade Dragon
Holy Fury 2018
March of the Eagles 2013
Europa Universalis IV 2013 Conquest of Paradise 2014
Wealth of Nations
Res Publica
Art of War
El Dorado 2015
Common Sense
The Cossacks
Mare Nostrum 2016
Rights of Man
Mandate of Heaven 2017
Third Rome
Cradle of Civilization
Rule Britannia 2018
Golden Century
Emperor 2020
Leviathan 2021
Lions of the North 2022
Domination 2023
King of Kings
Stellaris 2016 Leviathans 2016
Utopia 2017
Synthetic Dawn
Apocalypse 2018
Distant Stars
Ancient Relics 2019
Federations 2020
Nemesis 2021
Overlord 2022
Galactic Paragons 2023
Astral Planes 2023
Hearts of Iron IV 2016 Together for Victory 2016
Death or Dishonor 2017
Waking the Tiger 2018
Man the Guns 2019
La Résistance 2020
Battle for the Bosporus
No Step Back 2021
By Blood Alone 2022
Arms Against Tyranny 2023
Imperator: Rome 2019 Magna Graecia 2020
Heirs of Alexander 2021
Crusader Kings III 2020 Northern Lords 2021
Royal Court 2022
Fate of Iberia
Tours and Tournaments 2023
Legacy of Persia
Victoria 3 2022 Voice of the People 2023
Colossus of the South 2023
Sphere of Influence 2024


  1. ^ "Update of the organization at PDS". Paradox Interactive Forums. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  2. ^ "Update of the organization at PDS". Paradox Interactive Forums. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  3. ^ Smith, Graham (1 May 2021). "Paradox Development Studio has "split into three distinct studios", and none are working on Imperator: Rome". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  4. ^ "Update of the organization at PDS". Paradox Interactive Forums. Retrieved 11 March 2022.
  5. ^ "GDC Vault - Blurring the Line Between Community & Studio". GDC Vault. Archived from the original on 20 February 2019. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  6. ^ Dickle, Mark; Woodsworth, John (12 November 2019). "The History of Clausewitz | PDXCON2019". YouTube. Archived from the original on 15 October 2020. Retrieved 12 November 2019.
  7. ^ Susana (25 April 2008). "Free engine for gamers released!". Paradox Interactive Forums. Archived from the original on 15 October 2020. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Europa Engine". Indie DB. Archived from the original on 8 March 2018. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  9. ^ Andersson, Johan (18 April 2008). "License the Europa Engine, and get your work published on Gamersgate". Paradox Interactive Forums. Archived from the original on 15 October 2020. Retrieved 22 July 2019.
  10. ^ Savage, Phil (21 August 2015). "Stellaris: how Paradox plan to make an infinite grand strategy". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 4 April 2016. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  11. ^ Brown, Fraser (14 October 2018). "The engine behind Paradox Development Studio's future games". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on 25 July 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  12. ^ Horti, Samuel (14 October 2018). "Future Paradox games will be easier to mod thanks to engine upgrade". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on 7 December 2019. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
  13. ^ Publishing Development Studio Jobs Contact Internships (30 April 2013). "Development Studio - Paradox Interactive". Archived from the original on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2013.

External links[edit]