Paradox Interactive is a Swedish video game publisher based in Stockholm, Sweden. The company is best known for releasing historical strategy computer games, such as the Europa Universalis series. Paradox Interactive publishes its own games, both developed by their division, Paradox Development Studio, and those of other developers.
Paradox Interactive is not a publicly traded company. The largest and majority owner is its CEO Fredrik Wester. The second largest owner is Investment AB Spiltan, and in June 2014 13% of the company was acquired by Peter Lindell.
On March 7th 2016, CEO Fredrik Wester stated in an interview with Di Digital that Paradox Interactive has launched the Initial public offering process. The company will complete the process within the year with the intention of spreading ownership between employees and players of their games and "looking for long-term owners who want to take part in the Paradox journey."
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 even while paused. 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.
Aside from games produced by its own development studio, Paradox also publish games from other studios. These include the survival horror Penumbra series, the action role-playing Magicka series and the Mount & Blade series. Paradox also collaborated with Colossal Order and published the simulation Cities in Motion series and Cities: Skylines, which has marked a new sales record of the company. According to Metacritic, the company's highest rated product is Pillars of Eternity, a computer role-playing game developed by Obsidian Entertainment and was released in March 2015.