Paradox Interactive

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Paradox Interactive
Traded asFirst North: PDX
IndustryVideo games
GenreGrand strategy games, 4X
Founded1999; 19 years ago (1999)
Key people
  • Ebba Ljungerud (CEO)
  • Frederik Wester (Executive Chairman of the Board)
  • Susana Meza Graham (COO)
ProductsVideo games
RevenueIncrease SEK 814 million (2017)[1]
Number of employees

Paradox Interactive is a Swedish video game publisher based in Stockholm. The company is best known for releasing historical strategy video games. Paradox Interactive publishes its own games, both developed by their division, Paradox Development Studio, and those of other developers. It was a division of Paradox Entertainment, rights holders of properties such as the Robert E. Howard character Conan.[4]


On March 7, 2016, CEO Fredrik Wester stated in an interview with Di Digital that Paradox Interactive has launched the IPO process. The company will complete the process within the year with the intention of spreading ownership between employees and players of their games and "looking for long-term owners who want to take part in the Paradox journey".[5]

On May 31, 2016, trading in Paradox Interactive commenced on Nasdaq First North under the symbol PDX.[1] The initial price offering was 33 SEK (3.96 USD)[6] valuing the company at 3,485 million SEK (420 million USD).

Fredrik Wester stated on the 22nd of June on a forum post that he still owns 33.3% of the shares of the company.[3][7]

Wester announced in February 2018 that he plans on stepping down as CEO by August 2018, but will remain as the executive chairman of the board, while current board member Ebba Ljungerud will take his place. The move is aimed to give Wester more ability to look for growth opportunities while Ljungerud handles the day-to-day operations of the company.[8]

The company's financial performance for 2017 saw a 24 % year-on-year increase in revenues to SEK 813.8, and a 10% year-on-year increase in profits to SEK 339.8[9]

Game characteristics[edit]

Paradox Interactive has generally focused on publishing "grand strategy games", i.e. ones played on a real-world map, marked by the use of standard real-time elements but with an ability to make any and all changes even while paused. Almost all Paradox games have historical settings and demonstrate a reasonable commitment to historical accuracy.[citation needed] The focus of each game is different, but generally a player must manage the economy, commerce, internal politics, diplomacy, technological development, and military forces of a nation. Paradox Interactive games are also characteristically complex, with highly detailed gameplay models and consequently steep learning curves.[citation needed] Over time, in an appeal to sell games to a wider market, they have sold games which attempt to preserve the historical accuracy of previous games while attempting to make the games less complex.[citation needed] The games are mostly based on an open game engine (sandbox-style game) with no set "victory" condition. Paradox tries to make games that are open and easy to edit (moddable), from tweaking a saved game to creating an entirely new scenario. Modding can be accomplished with simple tools and basic knowledge of scripting. To assist modders to figure out how to edit the game on their own, the Paradox forums provide fan-compiled libraries of "how to" advice. Due to this, each game has a very large number of mods, ranging from minor additions to complete system overhauls.[citation needed] Examples of these grand strategy games in Paradox' catalog include Europa Universalis series and the Hearts of Iron series.

Along with grand strategy games, Paradox's catalog also has come to include simulation and management games, such as the Cities in Motion series and Cities: Skylines, and computer role-playing games such as Pillars of Eternity. The publisher has ventured into other genres in the period between 2011 and 2014, but have since shifted focus back to these three core areas; according to Shams Jorjani, the vice president of business development, "We had this vision of people buying a Paradox game without knowing what the game was; that 'Paradox' should be a guarantee for a type of game experience".[10] The period from 2011 to 2014 was marked by the publication of the first Magicka game in 2011, itself having been greenlit for publishing after seeing the success of the Mount & Blade series in 2008, which did not quite fit their grand strategy profile. Magicka had been successful, so between 2013 and 2014, the publisher greenlit a number of different titles from across a number of genres, which, on retrospective, the publisher found that they could not properly manage or promote well, leading them to limit themselves to three core genres.[10]

Video game music composer Andreas Waldetoft frequently composes the soundtracks for Paradox Interactive's games.

Paradox Interactive purchased White Wolf Publishing's assets, including World of Darkness and Vampire: The Masquerade, from CCP Games in October 2015.[11] White Wolf became a self-operating subsidiary of Paradox Interactive with its own management and goals.[12]

In January 2017, White Wolf announced its partnership with video game publisher Focus Home Interactive for the video game adaptation of Werewolf: The Apocalypse, a tabletop role-playing game set in the World of Darkness. The game will be developed by the game development studio Cyanide and released on PC and consoles. [13][14]

On 5 June 2018, Paradox Interactive announced its acquisition of Harebrained Schemes, the maker of Shadowrun Returns and the Paradox published game BATTLETECH for a fixed price of US$7,500,000 and 25% of the earnings of Harebrained Schemes excluding publishing cost in the next 5 years, provided that amount exceed the fixed purchasing price.[15]

Post-content model[edit]

Paradox is known to support games following their release with a long tail of updates to their games often several years after release. Some of these are free updates or DLCs, many add large game changing elements to the game and the way it is played. Paradox board member Ebba Ljungerud justified this part of their business model by stating "We want to make really great games for our fans, and we can't do that if we don't charge something for the development".[10] But many fans dislike this model as it requires them to pay for game changing content as well as buying the base game. This leads to several games having large amounts of DLC, which leads to large costs in order to obtain the new features.


  1. ^ a b "Year End Report". Report. Paradox Interactive. 2016-02-23. p. 1. Retrieved 2016-10-23.
  2. ^ "Coworkers". Paradox Interactive. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b
  4. ^ "9th Circ. Nixes Appeal Over 'Conan The Barbarian' Rights". Law360. 22 Oct 2013.
  5. ^ 7 March 2016, Retrieved 8 March 2016
  6. ^ "Exchange rate history".
  7. ^ Rose, Victoria (2016-05-27). "China's Tencent just bought a piece of Paradox". Polygon. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  8. ^ Kerr, Chris (13 February 2018). "Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester is stepping down after nine years". Gamasutra. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Year-end report 2017 | Paradox Interactive - Global Games Publisher". Paradox Interactive. 2018-02-13. Retrieved 2018-03-27.
  10. ^ a b c Handrahan, Matthew (May 31, 2018). "Paradox: "If a game can't be played for 500 hours we probably shouldn't be publishing it"". Retrieved May 31, 2018.
  11. ^ Futter, Mike (October 29, 2015). "Paradox Purchases World Of Darkness, Vampire: The Masquerade Creator White Wolf Publishing". Game Informer. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
  12. ^ "White Wolf - Paradox Interactive - Global Games Publisher". Paradox Interactive - Global Games Publisher. Retrieved 2017-05-19.
  13. ^ "White Wolf partners with Focus Home Interactive for a video game adaptation of the World of Darkness Storyteller game, Werewolf: The Apocalypse. - Paradox Interactive - Global Games Publisher". Paradox Interactive - Global Games Publisher. Retrieved 2017-05-19.
  14. ^ Interactive, Focus Home. "Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Focus Home Interactive". Focus Home Interactive. Retrieved 2017-05-19.
  15. ^ "Paradox Interactive to acquire Seattle-based Harebrained Schemes". Paradox Interactive. Retrieved 2018-06-05.

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