Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings Have Average Play Times of 190+ Hours

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Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings Have Average Play Times of 190+ Hours

eu4 pdxcon2013 10

In fact, all of Paradox Interactives' games have ludicrously high average play times.

We've all done it. A Steam sale pops up and we drop 5 or 10 bucks on a title, and we might only play it for a few hours, if we install it at all. In contrast, games put out by the Swedish publishing house Paradox Interactive set their hooks in players and rarely let go. Paradox CEO Frederik Wester told me at the company's annual meeting last month that their games have an average play time on Steam of more than 190 hours. There are only a few games I've played for that long, and most of those are MMOs, but it's standard operating procedure for the deep strategy games like Europa Universalis IV for which Paradox is famous. Wester says the high play times are directly responsible for Paradox's commercial success.

"To a gamer, value for money is incredibly important," Wester said. "If you pay $40 for a game you play once and never touch again, you might not feel like that was a good value. But if you buy a game for $40 that you play for months, or even years, you're probably going to feel that you received a great value for your money and share that feeling with someone else."

Let's put that 190 hours in perspective. That's almost 8 days of solid play time. And that's the average for someone who plays Paradox games. That means there are people who play the game for thousands of hours to offset the few who might pick it up for only an hour or two.

The crazy thing is that the amount of time gamers play Paradox titles does not slow down even years after the game is released. Crusader Kings II came out in early 2012, and, while it's had a bunch of expansions, it's no longer what you would call "fresh". But in the last 30 days, according to SteamCharts, CK2 has been played for 2,273,479 hours total. And Europa Universalis IV, which came out last year, has even more time played in the last 30 days: 3,211,400 hours.

And while there is multiplayer in these games, and it's quite enjoyable, Paradox games are mostly played on your own so you can't really compare them to perennial top-performers on Steam like Dota 2 or even Call of Duty

From the design perspective, the open-ended grand strategy games Paradox Development Studio makes are specifically created to give the players freedom to explore the simulation for as long as they want. "I see the amount of hours players sink into our games as hard evidence that gamers want freedom," said Johan Andersson, studio manager. "We want you as a gamer to have freedom to set your own goals, decide what tools to use and make choices."

Andersson takes the high average play times to heart. "That gamers get so engaged that they continue playing our games for hundreds of hours is of course the biggest compliment we as a game developer can ever get," he said. "I see the amount of hours players sink into our games as hard evidence that gamers want freedom."

It's not just a design philosophy for Paradox; the hyper-engaging games are earning gobs of money for the publisher. Paradox has seen great success in the last few years with a string of hits which include Magicka, CK2 and EU4, although there have been more than a few duds like Impire and Sword of the Stars II. The grand strategy games may not be for everyone, but the number of gamers who respect the value Paradox delivers is growing.

"Our goal at Paradox Interactive is to run a successful business in the long-term, which means creating products that keep people coming back for more," Wester said. "We try to create games that are not only a good use of your time, but also a good use of what is in your wallet."

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Long live Paradox Interactive. I have thoroughly enjoyed both Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis 3. And personally, I enjoy Sword of the Stars 2. Impire... not so much.

Paradox develops astounding games for the most part. CK2 is hilariously well detailed and makes most grand strategy games look miniscule in comparison. And Mount and Blade is about the only game that has a more active modding community than the Elder Scrolls games.

This doesn't surprise me. I've had CK2 installed since early January and I've put more than a hundred hours into it since then. Arumba, a youtuber who puts out around two hours of CK2 and EU4 videos per day claims to have more than 2000 hours clocked on CK2. The games are crazy detailed, and stupendously addictive.

plus there is the advantage that what ever mayhem you have created in CK2 can be imported into Euiv so it ends up a stupidly long and fun game

And when they get around to making Victoria 3, we'll likely get an official EUIV to V3 converter. Imagine the insane scenarios that can arise from that.... such as WW1 with the roman empire still alive and kicking. Or other realms that fell long before then running around like it was nothing.

I have 100 Hours on CKII, Mostly playing as my Jewish Persia Game (That owns all of the Middle East, Northern Egypt, Eastern Russia (As much of Eastern Russia as you can get in the game), Crete, Cyprus, and almost all of the Anatolia (Which is my main war goal right now)). I also recently bought EUIV, but I'm not really touching it until I convert my Jewish Persia game to it (Getting the Converter by Friday hopefully).

400+ hours invested in Hearts of Iron III, thanks to Steam not always recording when playing some of the mods out there. Yeah, looking forward to HoI IV from them. Their games give a great return on the investment.

I've got around 90 hours in CK2 and my laptop, the poor thing, can barely run it. As soon as I get a new one those playtime hours are going to easily double/triple in size.

What i really what to know is when are they going to get round to making Hearts of Iron IV? Ideally one that starts around 1910.

One of the only ways I'm above average. WHOO!

Barciad:
What i really what to know is when are they going to get round to making Hearts of Iron IV? Ideally one that starts around 1910.

Paradox IS developing HOI4 right now. I saw a very early alpha build of it, and it looks awesome. Should be coming out in 2015, lot of development still to do.

Greg Tito:

Barciad:
What i really what to know is when are they going to get round to making Hearts of Iron IV? Ideally one that starts around 1910.

Paradox IS developing HOI4 right now. I saw a very early alpha build of it, and it looks awesome. Should be coming out in 2015, lot of development still to do.

I would love to give them some advice on it. HOI2 remains one of my favourite games of all time. The third one on the other hand, I found a bit disappointing. It lacked the accessibility and charm of the original.

Barciad:

I would love to give them some advice on it. HOI2 remains one of my favourite games of all time. The third one on the other hand, I found a bit disappointing. It lacked the accessibility and charm of the original.

Haha, yeah. I have sunk tons of time into ck2 and Eu 4, but HoI 3 was actually the first game i bought of them.
Just Damn. I mean that Tutorial by Hitler is all fine and funny but of all the Paradox interactive tutorials, which are usually crap, the one that's the least educational.

Best of the 3:
I've got around 90 hours in CK2 and my laptop, the poor thing, can barely run it. As soon as I get a new one those playtime hours are going to easily double/triple in size.

I know, I just got a new PC (Well, at least I bought a used 5 year old setup instead of my 7 year old one), and it's amazing how it and EUIV are properly running, like finally there is a difference between the speed-up settings, instead of all of them equally lagging at 1 day/second.

I played the shit out of them earlier, but finally I can run through the years fast enough that I can finish a game in like a few days, which would have been physically impossible before.

You don't even know.
You don't even fucking know.
I wasn't really a big fan of EU rome or HOI3, but I've still probably clocked 50 or so hours in HOI3. It just seems like the further you go in the paradox timeline, the less ability you have to affect the outcome of something. I mean, I love Victoria 2, but that's another example of lacking in your ability to effect the world, I mean, unless you are playing as a major nation, there is pretty much no point to it.

haha yeah, that's because one round of CKII takes fucking forever to get through. (not saying that's a horrible thing, just stating what it is.)

speaking of which...

if anyone wants EUIV for dirt cheap right now, greenmangaming has it for 10 bucks

http://www.greenmangaming.com/s/us/en/pc/games/strategy/europa-universalis-iv/

there you go, enjoy!

15 hours of Warlock - Master of the Arcane, 30 hours of March of the Eagles, 111 hours of EUIV, 315 hours of M&B: Warband, 523 hours of Crusader Kings... Damn you Paradox!

Having just spent the last 6 hours playing Crusader Kings 2, I've now reached 388 hours. It was actually a multiplayer game I've been playing with a friend, and he's been playing for... let's see now, 530 hours total.

This news does not surprise me in the slightest.

The only other game that has more time on it than CK2 on my steam is Fallout new vegas. If it wasnt for me dropping CK2 until they finish breaking my save games... i mean updating and adding expansions it would prolly surpass that.

MASTACHIEFPWN:
I mean, I love Victoria 2, but that's another example of lacking in your ability to effect the world, I mean, unless you are playing as a major nation, there is pretty much no point to it.

I completely disagree! Playing as Najd, or Hedjaz, or one of the southeast asian nations have been some of my favorite play-throughs. Admittedly Vickymod makes smaller nations significantly more interesting, but even in vanilla saving the USCA or forming Gran Columbia is some of the most fun I've had.

Halyah:
And when they get around to making Victoria 3

Not in this century ;_;

Yeah, I've put 316 hours into CK2. As far as I'm aware the only games I've played more are Halo 3, Halo: Reach, Pokémon Ruby and WoW.

Rajas of India should come out soon meaning more map to conquer!

I have 452 hours in eu4, 666 hours in eu3 (im not bsing, i left it at that for the sake of having it be 666, because im juvenile.),and 159 hours in ck2.

Yah, paradox games are timesinks that you just want to come back to again and again.
i am currently playing HOI 2, am 51 hour in and it looks like im not even close to half of what i want to do.

Then again, a single campaigh of 1936-1947 took me over 40 hours because i was pretty much fighting at 4 fronts at one point (i was playing as Soviets and i took over whole Europe, over half of africa and was already fighting against indonesian area and japan (meanwhile some bug allowed chinese to delete my troops if they decide to walk on the spot, so i avoided that border).

Paradox games seem to be the kind of games that are designed for specific ninche audience, but damn does that audience play the hell out of them! I actually put them as winners in this years march mayhem, altrough i know thats an impossible dream. I dont remmeber a single game i had as much fun than theirs last year.

I only bought CKII last month, because I heard it had a good Game of Thrones mod and Steam gave me 50% off.

The mod was good, but after deciding to take on the full game I'm now sat on 159 hours, and so far I've only played as William the Conqueror. Being offered the Kingdom of France in 1076 by upset French vassals was a personally highlight.

For comparison, I bought Total War Rome II about a 5 weeks after release (after the first couple of patches) and it's sat on 112 hours & one finished playthrough.

I wish I had a play time for Rome I, though; I'll be very surprised if I every play any game more than I played that one.

Hafrael:

MASTACHIEFPWN:
I mean, I love Victoria 2, but that's another example of lacking in your ability to effect the world, I mean, unless you are playing as a major nation, there is pretty much no point to it.

I completely disagree! Playing as Najd, or Hedjaz, or one of the southeast asian nations have been some of my favorite play-throughs. Admittedly Vickymod makes smaller nations significantly more interesting, but even in vanilla saving the USCA or forming Gran Columbia is some of the most fun I've had.

Halyah:
And when they get around to making Victoria 3

Not in this century ;_;

Oh they'll get around to it. Likely it won't be before 2016 -if- we're lucky, but more likely it'll be 2018 or so depending on the development speed of their current projects. By then they're probably done making stuff for CK2 as well.... granted I hope not because CK2 still needs playable military orders, holy orders, theocracies and the rest of asia(china, japan and korea especially). I want a roman empire versus chinese empire showdown in CK2 darnit. One that's possible thanks to official support and not just mods. D:

gmaverick019:
speaking of which...

if anyone wants EUIV for dirt cheap right now, greenmangaming has it for 10 bucks

http://www.greenmangaming.com/s/us/en/pc/games/strategy/europa-universalis-iv/

there you go, enjoy!

Huge shout out to you sir, made it to GMG with 12 mins to spare on the offer :)

If anyone wants a resource for learning the games, Arumba on the Youtubes does some great vids. Him, Northernlion and MathasGames have been doing a CK2 playthrough that they just converted to an EUIV game, and if you wanna watch some friends dick each other over and have a laugh doing it, its well worth a look. Especially the last 5 or so episodes of the CK2 series XD

Unfortunately, it highlights one of the major issues with Paradox games. Some stuff doesn't work all the time, multiplayer in CK2, for instance, de-syncs constantly.

Isalan:

gmaverick019:
speaking of which...

if anyone wants EUIV for dirt cheap right now, greenmangaming has it for 10 bucks

http://www.greenmangaming.com/s/us/en/pc/games/strategy/europa-universalis-iv/

there you go, enjoy!

Huge shout out to you sir, made it to GMG with 12 mins to spare on the offer :)

If anyone wants a resource for learning the games, Arumba on the Youtubes does some great vids. Him, Northernlion and MathasGames have been doing a CK2 playthrough that they just converted to an EUIV game, and if you wanna watch some friends dick each other over and have a laugh doing it, its well worth a look. Especially the last 5 or so episodes of the CK2 series XD

Unfortunately, it highlights one of the major issues with Paradox games. Some stuff doesn't work all the time, multiplayer in CK2, for instance, de-syncs constantly.

you're very welcome! as great as these games are, they definitely rack up in price VERY quickly with all the mini DLC's they add on (some of them are definitely worth it while others are kind of a pain to pay for.)

I might have to check that out, I've put 30ish hours into CKII and haven't actually finished a game yet (as in, reached the end or had my dynasty die out..so i suppose that is good?) but I feel like I could definitely sharpen my skills and I think I'm not utilizing some strategies sometimes.....and by utilize, I mean I have no idea what I'm doing lol.

gmaverick019:
Snippity Snip

you're very welcome! as great as these games are, they definitely rack up in price VERY quickly with all the mini DLC's they add on (some of them are definitely worth it while others are kind of a pain to pay for.)

I might have to check that out, I've put 30ish hours into CKII and haven't actually finished a game yet (as in, reached the end or had my dynasty die out..so i suppose that is good?) but I feel like I could definitely sharpen my skills and I think I'm not utilizing some strategies sometimes.....and by utilize, I mean I have no idea what I'm doing lol.

Arumba is very well versed in the game, and Mathas is pretty decent too. Northernlion on the other hand is getting better but he sometimes makes superb mistakes. This is a little animated thing regarding one of the mistakes he made during an earlier playthrough when they were playing the 3 Spanish princes. Enjoy!

Isalan:

gmaverick019:
Snippity Snip

you're very welcome! as great as these games are, they definitely rack up in price VERY quickly with all the mini DLC's they add on (some of them are definitely worth it while others are kind of a pain to pay for.)

I might have to check that out, I've put 30ish hours into CKII and haven't actually finished a game yet (as in, reached the end or had my dynasty die out..so i suppose that is good?) but I feel like I could definitely sharpen my skills and I think I'm not utilizing some strategies sometimes.....and by utilize, I mean I have no idea what I'm doing lol.

Arumba is very well versed in the game, and Mathas is pretty decent too. Northernlion on the other hand is getting better but he sometimes makes superb mistakes. This is a little animated thing regarding one of the mistakes he made during an earlier playthrough when they were playing the 3 Spanish princes. Enjoy!

haha so just to make sure I'm understanding right...

he thought THEY were surrendering, but he himself ended up clicking the wrong spot and surrendering himself?

if so...LOLLLL.

(also, that noise is permanently engraved in my mind now, anytime I hear that little "ka-ding!" I instantly look all over my screen for some kind of pop up notice)

gmaverick019:
Snip

haha so just to make sure I'm understanding right...

he thought THEY were surrendering, but he himself ended up clicking the wrong spot and surrendering himself?

if so...LOLLLL.

(also, that noise is permanently engraved in my mind now, anytime I hear that little "ka-ding!" I instantly look all over my screen for some kind of pop up notice)

Yeah, sorry, bit of context would have helped there. He'd just got 100% warscore in a decade long war for North Africa, went into the conclude war section and clicked surrender. Much laughing was had by all, cept NL who spent the next 10-15 years getting his economy back in shape.

Both the series are pretty good. Kinda dry at times but then its grand strategy so kill cams probably aren't going to feature anytime soon.

Let's see on the Steam Account...

...hmm...

Well...

Crusader Kings 2: 136 Hours.
Europa Universalis III: 388 Hours.
Europa Universalis IV: 62 Hours. (Give me time...)
Victoria II: 446 Hours.

Those are the purely on Steam games.

As for the games I have on Steam AND other copies...

Hearts of Iron II, Complete: 151 Hours...plus a few hundred more.
Hearts of Iron III: 6 Hours. Yeah...not my favorite.
Hearts of Iron I: A lot.
Victoria I: A lot.
Darkest Hour: A lot, just because of the Fallout Days of Destruction Mod.

Yeah, Paradox makes REALLY good and engaging games.

I have Crusader Kings 2 but honestly and I really hate to admit this being someone who has played strategy games my whole life and all that jazz.... its too hard for me, or rather its a bit too monolithic for me to really understand. I even did the tutorials and it didn't really engrain on me like the tutorials for other strategy games did.

Also, I got it so I could play the Game of Thrones mod and was disappointed that your couldn't play as Tyrion.

There's something indelible to paradox games. I really enjoy visiting the fora to see how other people play the game.

A world conquest with ryukyu islands, wtf!?

Apache tribe that conquers paris..... These things are monstrously hard to pull off, though.

The best I've been able to do is to take a primal japanese power, unify japan and colonize west america.

Or use venice to build a trade route from asia through the suez canal.

And in another run: take a single pre- dutch province, form the netherlands in the wake of a scary powerful french and Sweden and build a caribean empire with control of ireland to funnel the riches home.

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