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Aiming for the 'niche' pays off for million-selling strategy game

Aiming for the 'niche' pays off for million-selling strategy game

September 18, 2014 | By Kris Graft

September 18, 2014 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing

Sometimes, aiming deep instead of wide pays off.

Swedish publisher Paradox Interactive said today its grand strategy game from 2012, Crusader Kings II, has sold over 1 million units across PC, Mac, and Linux.

The strategy title, described by Paradox as a game of “medieval marriage, rule, and conquest,” throws handholding out the window, and thrusts players into a systems-heavy environment that takes considerable dedication to learn.

Despite its apparent inaccessibility and focus on a specific kind of strategy game player, Crusader Kings II was able to find an audience that appreciated the depth of the game, which plays out differently with every playthrough.

The game sells for $40 on Steam, and has had numerous expansions and downloadable content offerings. Paradox said that in addition to the million units sold of the base game, the publisher has sold 7 million additional units of DLC and expansions. The game is still played by 12,500 players a day, the company said, with average players logging just over 99 hours of time spent with the game. Paradox continues to support Crusader Kings II with new content.

Paradox, which employs 150 people, is also behind the popular Europa Universalis series, and specializes in other no-nonsense PC-based strategy game franchises.

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