|Revenue||143 million SEK (2011)|
Paradox Interactive is a Swedish video game publisher based in Stockholm that is known for publishing historical strategy computer games. It publishes its own games (developed by Paradox Development Studio) as well as other developers' through traditional retail channels as well as digital distribution services, such as Steam or Gamersgate. The lead game programmer is Johan Andersson.
Paradox Interactive was previously a division of Paradox Entertainment, self-proclaimed owners and developers of properties such as Conan the Barbarian as created by pulp author Robert Ervin Howard.
The studio produces what it terms "Grand Strategy games", meaning 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 while paused (and while unpaused). Almost all Paradox games have historical settings and demonstrate a reasonable commitment to historical accuracy. 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.
Paradox regularly releases patches to their games long after a game's initial release. Some games have required patches shortly after release to make them playable. Later patches may contain large changes to the game and the way the game is played, in response to the demands and requests of fans.
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.
The complexity of the games often warrants player collaboration over the forums. Often, players will assist other players with the games, post modifications, and write "after action reports". Due to much of the game content being in plain text and image files, the modification of the games has become very popular. Much of the gameplay information used by the engine is contained in uncompressed text and bitmap graphic files. The ability to freely edit these files has allowed an active modding community to develop.
After action reports, usually abbreviated as AARs on the forums, provide a way for players to discuss their own gameplay in unique ways with other players. AARs are reports written by players about their experiences with a game, ranging in style from simple presentations of the development of the game with screenshots to highly embellished character-driven stories only loosely based on the events in the game. They are generally serialized in a forum topic, with every update post corresponding to a period of gameplay, and with comments and suggestions made by readers between updates.