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News video games 11 April 2023, 14:34

author: Jacob Blazewicz

Only One Paradox Game Resists Player Loss

Paradox Development has a habit of releasing lots of DLCs for its games. Perhaps the developers are considering the popularity of their titles, which drops hard after release.

Paradox's game launches are small celebrations for strategy game fans, even if the players complain about the release of too many DLCs later on. Nonetheless, a glance at stats from Steam is enough to come to the conclusion that a huge number of DLCs for Paradox titles may be necessary to sustain interest in these productions.

Most of the games by Paradox Development are elaborate strategy games that are expected to provide not dozens, but hundreds of hours of fun. One might think, therefore, that interest in them should remain high for a long time. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Only One Paradox Game Resists Player Loss - picture #1

Number of players of individual Paradox Development Studio games (in percentage)Source: own / SteamDB.

The chart above shows the percentage of players who have simultaneously launched six of Paradox's latest games. One would like to write: "still in development," but then one would have to exclude Imperator: Rome, which has been de facto abandoned two years after release.

Hardly surprising, since even just after launch the game performed the worst of all Paradox's recent works. Tue, at launch the title attracted far more players than Europa Universalis IV, but it didn't take long for the majority of Steam users to abandon Emperor.

EU4 - theoretical stabilization

Speaking of EU4, in theory it is the title enjoying the most "stable" interest right after its release. However, this only applies to the percentage shot: the release of the fourth installment of the Europa Universalis series attracted far fewer people than Paradox's subsequent work. In terms of the number of players, it lagged far behind Crusader Kings III and Stellaris.

Only One Paradox Game Resists Player Loss - picture #2

Number of players of individual Paradox Development Studio games (in thousands)Source: own / SteamDB.

Of course, this is only a comparison of success (or lack thereof in the case of Emperor) of the individual games in the first months after release. After all, if we take a look at the full stats (via SteamDB), DLC releases have consistently rekindled interest in Paradox's games.

  1. Europa Universalis IV attracted the most players almost 7 years after its debut.
  2. On the day the Emperor DLC was released, the game had almost three times as many Steam users as on the release of the base game.
  3. The same applies to, among others, Stellaris and Crusader Kings III, with it being worth noting that the increases were rarely tied to sales or even free weekends (although, of course, the latter helped sustain interest).
  4. Moreover, while the peak was not as high as the records achieved by CK3 and Stellaris, last years EU4 has received just as much (or even more) attention as both newer games (via SteamDB and SteamCharts).

It's hard to prove that this, too, is due to the DLCs, but such a long development of the game has certainly not been without influence on its popularity (as well as, of course, numerous discounts). Even if some DLCs eventually turned out to be a considerable disappointments.

Jacob Blazewicz

Jacob Blazewicz

Graduated with a master's degree in Polish Studies from the University of Warsaw with a thesis dedicated to this very subject. Started his adventure with GRYOnline.pl in 2015, writing in the Newsroom and later also in the film and technology sections (also contributed to the Encyclopedia). Interested in video games (and not only video games) for years. He began with platform games and, to this day, remains a big fan of them (including Metroidvania). Also shows interest in card games (including paper), fighting games, soulslikes, and basically everything about games as such. Marvels at pixelated characters from games dating back to the time of the Game Boy (if not older).

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