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Paradox Shows the Industry How to Announce Games

How refreshing to see a slew of games, DLC, and updates – with release dates, even!

Wren Romero

Mar 13, 2023

Photo: Mats Wiklund / Shutterstock

In a flashy 30-minute presentation featuring grinning media officers and awkward game devs, publisher Paradox Interactive, best known for Grand Strategy games like Crusader Kings, did the impossible: they announced games. In a year where competitors frequently resort to non-announcements like Ubisoft’s announcement of announcements to come or vague gestures like Firaxis’ vague promise that Civilization 7 will eventually exist, it’s refreshing to see a slew of games, DLC, and updates in the works– with release dates, even! Here’s our rundown of everything Paradox showed off.

All of Paradox’s flagship grand strategy titles will be receiving some sort of update. After being dormant for nearly a decade, Paradox showed off the high fantasy Age of Wonders series will be receiving a new installment, with Age of Wonders 4 releasing May 3. The trailer shows off polished animations and assets, an array of units, factions, and loot; while threatening the return of some scary looking “Ancient Wizard Kings,” led by a hot woman with an eye patch.

Industrialization simulator Europea Universalis 4 will be receiving an expansion titled Domination, which will expand on the “global” aspects of the game, covering “Spain of course, France, Britain, The Ottomans, China, Russia, Japan,” building on the experience of the games’ most popular empires with “new mechanics [and] new mission trees,” alongside the promise of new units, music, reforms, and other in-game content. Domination will be coming “soon.”

Crusader Kings 3, the source of a million memes, will be receiving a new expansion titled Tours and Tournaments, which promises to introduce a new layer of roleplaying and “cunning,” to the game with new mechanics for courting Princesses and hosting elaborate tournaments where players can become “Grand Champion” across the realms. Of course, these feasts and festivals can also be used as traps to lure in one’s enemies in scenes reminiscent of Game of Thrones’ iconic Red Wedding. This DLC is also set to launch alongside a free update that adds a new mechanic of “Regency,” to the game, allowing a Regent, either a player or NPC, to rule in the stead of a monarch. Like UI4 Domination, CK3’s Tours and Tournaments Expansion will be released “Soon.”

Sooner than that, Victoria 3 will be receiving update 1.2 on March 13, adding changes like improved military objectives, and tools for automating economic management. The next day, on March 14th, Stellaris will be receiving the long-awaited “First Contact,” expansion, bringing new features to the early game and diplomacy alongside the arrival of a civilization of vengeful four-eyed bird people.

Arguably the biggest news of the event was the announcement of Cities Skylines 2, which was revealed with a gorgeous cinematic and no further details. With a new Simcity successor in the works, Paradox also showed off an homage to the early days of The Sims, with cinematics for a new game titled Life By You, with details set to arrive on March 20th. No release date was provided for either title.

Aside from their mainstay 4X and Simulation games, Paradox also featured new works from the studios they published. The show opened with a presentation from Harebrained Schemes, the studio behind titles like Shadowrun Returns and Battletech, which showed off gameplay and cinematics for The Lamplighters League, a turn-based strategy game featuring RPG elements, tactical infiltration, and a whole lot of people with Mid-Atlantic accents running from traps, fascists, and other forms of danger.

Speaking of Battletech, Paradox also announced a new “epic PvP Auto Battler” titled Mechabellum, featuring large-scale real-time clashes between armies of robots, jets, and tanks, releasing on Steam Early Access on May 11th.

The last new game announced was Knights of Pen and Paper 3, an ambitious sequel to the satirical dungeon-crawling Knights of Pen and Paper RPG franchise which promises players the ability to “loot marginal upgrades” and “fight ghastly...goblins? Or something?” in “uh...still pixel art.

In addition to the slate of new games, Paradox announced DLC for existing titles such as a Surviving The Aftermath: Rebirth, an expansion focused on the endgame with drastic reinventions such as “greenery,” and “farming.” No release date was given for Rebirth. A release date was given, however, for the new DLC for the co-op deck builder Across the Obelisk, with The Wolf Wars DLC arriving on March 30th with new cards, characters, and a new map for players to explore.

All told, the mix of old and new suggests that Paradox Interactive and their fans have a lot to be excited about, with all manner of Furries, Knights, Thrillseekers and Civil Engineers being given a spotlight across the myriad of announcements and re-announcements shown off. Here’s hoping that providing release dates for upcoming projects will catch on in the industry.

Wren Romero

Wren Romero is an art school dropout, fighting game scrub, incorrigible drifter, and the most corrupt jester in games journalism. You can find them on social media @CUIDAD

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