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PC strategy studio Paradox is making board games now, starting with Crusader Kings


Paradox Interactive, the PC game developer behind massive strategy hits such as Europa Universalis, Crusader King and Cities: Skylines, is turning its attention to board games.

The studio announced at its annual PDXCon that it would be working with notable tabletop designers to translate its digital success stories into analogue versions, with the idea being to retain their themes and mechanics – this doesn’t necessarily mean they will be one-for-one adaptations, but will embody the spirit of Paradox’s strategy-driven gameplay in streamlined forms.

The first board game will be based on Crusader Kings, the medieval simulation game that sees players taking control of a historical ruler and trying to expand their reign while juggling various personal dramas, such as surviving assassination attempts and raising a potential heir.

Crusader Kings: The Board Game trims down the PC game’s lengthy matches to two to three hours, focusing on the game’s characters, storytelling and generation-spanning strategy. Working on the project is Tales from the Loop studio Free League, which has launched the game on Kickstarter, where it’s already made more than triple its £43,000 goal.

City-building smash hit Cities: Skylines is also being brought to the tabletop, with Nations creator Rustan Håkansson behind the design. The SimCity-ish management gameplay takes place across a modular map, as players construct buildings to create a city together, while scoring for satisfying their personal constituents. It’ll be a much shorter and lighter game than Crusader Kings, playing in an hour.

The other two series confirmed to be in the works are Europa Universalis and Hearts of Iron, with the grand historical strategy game and economic wargame early in development. Hearts of Iron is being designed by established tabletop publisher Eagle-Gryphon and is currently set for a Kickstarter next spring, according to PC Gamer.

Europa Universalis’ upcoming board game will, of course, be a return to the tabletop for the series – Paradox’s own PC game was based on the original 1993 board game by Philippe Thibaut.

These new games won’t be the first tabletop creations based on Paradox’s series, either – the company owns World of Darkness RPG outlet White Wolf Games and allowed a 10-year-old designer to create a card game based on chaotic wizard video game Magicka a couple of years ago.

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