Connect with top gaming leaders in Los Angeles at GamesBeat Summit 2023 this May 22-23. Register here.
Think Crusader Kings — but in space.
Strategy game publisher Paradox Interactive returns to the stars today with the announcement of Stellaris, a space exploration title for the PC. It’s company’s first project set outside of Earth’s cradle since 2014’s real-time strategy release, Ancient Space.
The stars haven’t treated Paradox well in recent years. Ancient Space met with lackluster reviews and is a forgettable game. It published the disastrous Sword of the Stars II in 2011, a game that I called “a hot mess” when it debuted. But neither of these are grand strategy games. And neither are products of Paradox’s design studio. Stellaris is. It comes from the team that designed both Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis. Studio director Henrik Fåhraeus, who worked on both games, is in charge, a Paradox spokesperson told GamesBeat last week.
It differs from Galactic Civilizations, Endless Space, and other 4X (explore, expand, exploit, exterminate) games thanks to an emphasis on exploration and diplomacy. Like Crusader Kings, Stellaris also makes use of Paradox’s “emergent storytelling” that comes from how individual playthroughs develop over time, and star systems are procedurally generated, so each playthough gives you a new galactic playground. Your growth may focus more on finding resources or alien knowledge than manning your lasers and researching superweapons. This sort of gameplay has become a hallmark of the Nordic publisher’s take on strategy games. The spokesperson also said it would have dynamic events, similar to Crusader Kings II.
GamesBeat Summit 2023
Join the GamesBeat community in Los Angeles this May 22-23. You’ll hear from the brightest minds within the gaming industry to share their updates on the latest developments.
Stellaris also comes with a ship editor — though here, in another nod to exploration over conflict, you can tinker not only with military craft but civilian vessels as well. You can also play a range of different races — and meet many others. Individual scientists can go out and explore the galaxy.
Paradox did not give a release date.
GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Discover our Briefings.