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March 27th, 2008 by Troy Goodfellow · 5 Comments · Paradox

Tom Chick has posted a little blurb about his encounter with Paradox lead designer Johan Andersson. Chick seems to think that I’m crazed with rage about how EU3 deviated from the historical path, which isn’t quite the case. I understand why Paradox did what it did for the reasons laid out in the linked story – it’s just not as viable a game design for a long term historical game.

But this little blurb was interesting.

It almost sounds like he’s disowning the EU2 model. “Yeah, I’ve been communicating that on the forums for the last three, four years. It’s a model that doesn’t work. I mean, Crusader Kings doesn’t have it. EU3 doesn’t have it. Hearts of Iron has it, but it works. But EU2, it really didn’t work in the long run.” Furthermore, he says that EU2 was their worst selling game.

My bolds.

I knew that Hearts of Iron II was their biggest seller. It is World War II, had decent retail penetration and was the first game Paradox published on its own. So they had a popular subject and didn’t have to worry about international distributors and publishers screwing them over.

But I’m very surprised that EU2 sold worse than Victoria, which was a dog’s breakfast of neat ideas and cool innovations stuck to a frankly impenetrable economic model. And I’m surprised it sold more than Crusader Kings considering the long tail of Paradox strategy games.

Still, I would not draw the lesson that this was because EU2 was too faithful to history. Most gamers wouldn’t have known that until they had played it.

EDIT: Chick has clarified his reporting of Andersson’s sales comment to reflect that EU2 sold the worst of the EU games, apparently not including its cousin games.


5 Comments so far ↓

  • steve

    It’s possible that games from companies like Paradox have that long tail because of word-of-mouth. And if the word of mouth is poor from the people that grab their games right at launch, it could have more of an impact than it would on bigger titles.

    So, if early word is that EU2 has problems, whatever they are, it could kill its long-term sales.

  • Troy

    So, if early word is that EU2 has problems, whatever they are, it could kill its long-term sales.

    Of course, but EU2 is probably one of the most highly regarded of their titles.

    If it had one big problem, it would be that the original EU arrived in North America only months before EU2 did. I can see people not wanting to spend money on both.

    EU2 then appeared in a lot of Paradox bundle packs for 20 bucks a pop. So it’s possible a lot of people played it, but many of those because they picked it up cheap as part of a package deal.

  • roberton

    You might have already have seen this, but Tom’s appended a correction to his article. EU2 was the worst selling EU game, not necessarily the worst selling of *all* the Paradox games.


  • Michael A.

    Troy – I think you hit the nail right on the head. Paradox’s decision to ship EU2 (at best an incremental improvement on EU, at worst a full price expansion pack) only a few months after EU had reached many of their markets, was a stupid marketing decision. Even worse, was the fact that EU was still being patched at the time, and then EU2 came out and also required patches.

    EU sold well almost entirely based on word of mouth, IMO; I’m not surprised if EU2 didn’t sell as well given the above blunders.

  • Troy


    Yeah, I saw Tom’s correction. I’ll make an edit to the post.