This weekend is PDXCON, a convention in Stockholm, Sweden hosted by PC strategy game publisher Paradox Interactive. A rocket barrage of news and announcements has begun spilling out, including new game announcements and designer and developer collaborations.
Paradox announced Surviving Mars, a management strategy game developed by Haemimont Games (Tropico). Players are tasked with building a colony on Mars, from the first touchdown to a fully life-sustaining habitat.
The management sim promises to put a unique focus on individual colonists. “We feel that strategy and management games are at their best when they let the player experience the unique story being told by their decisions, and Surviving Mars is going to have that in a big way,” said Gabriel Dobrev, CEO of Haemimont Games. “Surviving Mars lets you understand what your colonists are dealing with on an individual level, and coming up with creative plans for those needs will be a new challenge for our fans.”
No release date was given but Surviving Mars will be coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in addition to Windows, Mac and Linux PCs.
Europa Universalis IV is getting its first “immersion pack.” Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome is a themed expansion that adds new content centered around Russia. The immersion pack includes two new forms of Russian government, Streltsy soldiers, the Siberian Frontier, and more.
Pricing and release date have not been announced. Third Rome will be accompanied by a free update to the base game.
Popular prison management sim Prison Architect is coming to mobile devices courtesy of Paradox Interactive. Prison Architect: Mobile will be arriving to iOS and Android tablets “within the next few months.” It will be free to download and play, with additional game modes and content available for purchase. I believe the free game is more of a demo for the full product.
Like the PC game, Prison Architect: Mobile has you building and running a maximum security prison. It’s currently in early access in Sweden and will be available soon.
Finally, Paradox announced two new creative partnerships. The first is with Harebrained Schemes (Shadowrun) and their upcoming BattleTech game.
“We at HBS have enormous respect for the long history of quality strategy games that Paradox has published and we are proud to have BattleTech become part of that history,” said Jordan Weisman, CEO of Harebrained Schemes. “We are confident in our ability to create a game worthy of the MechWarrior franchise’s legacy and are really excited to have Paradox’s expertise as a publisher to help us present BattleTech to the widest possible audience.”
Harebrained Schemes ran a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign in 2015, raising over $2.7 million. BattleTech is a turn-based tactical strategy game featuring good old fashioned mech on mech combat. Paradox previously worked with Obsidian Entertainment to help publish multi-million dollar Kickstarter success Pillars of Eternity.
BatteTech is due out later this year for PC.
Paradox also announced a creative partnership with Civilization V lead designer Jon Shafer. Shafer will be working on “the next big title in their catalog.”
“Bringing Jon Shafer onto our team is exciting for all of us; there’s probably nobody here who hasn’t personally played and enjoyed his work,” said Johan Andersson, EVP of Creative Direction at Paradox Development Studio. “Our fans have very high expectations for us based on the games they play – deep, complex titles with long-lasting, replayable experiences. Jon has the expertise to create more of those experiences, and he shares our core design philosophies; we can’t wait to share his games with our fans.”
Post Civ V, Shafer has been developing his own Kickstarter-funded strategy game At the Gates. Shafer will continue to develop At the Gates independently of his work with Paradox.