Europa Universalis IV Developers Will Soon Being Experimenting With A Subscription Model

Europa Universalis IV Developers Will Soon Being Experimenting With A Subscription Model
Credit: Paradox Interactive via YouTube

Paradox Development Studio seems to be working on an interesting concept for Europa Universalis IV, an alternative history political intrigue simulator in one of the storied hallmarks of the grand strategy genre on Steam.  It originally released August 13, 2013, and since then has seen multiple patches and DLC’s; the DLC purchases alone currently sum to $341.73 in the almost seven years the game has been active.

Paradox also has the rough habit of rebalancing the base game to make their newest inclusions work well, meaning that if you don’t get the DLC’s, you may be struggling to figure out why certain mechanics have been changed unceremoniously.

This left Paradox, and their fans, in a bit of a rough spot.  Not many people that are looking for a new grand strategy title to get into will cherish the thought of a $40 price-tag on top of $350 of DLC to get all of the content.  So Paradox slipped a small update to prepare for EU4 to transfer to a subscription-based title, where all of the DLC’s can be received for a monthly fee consistently paid.

Fans of Adobe software (Photoshop, Lightroom, and the sort) may already be recoiling in horror; the idea of not being able to actually own software, and have to pay for it until the end of time, is horrific.  Many see the idea of renting titles to be anti-consumer, thought up by devious executives attempting to squeeze even more money from their fans.  This doesn’t appear to be the case with EU4, based on the announcement.

The announcement came after the EU4 forums announced a new patch that ‘didn’t change anything’.  After pressure from forum users (and searching what the actual update files contained), Paradox team members announced that they’re experimenting with a new subscription model.  They wanted to get ahead of the fans running wild with pitchforks and torches, so they officially announced certain aspects of the upcoming subscription model.

Everyone who currently owns all titles will not be charged again; this is obvious, but in the modern era apparently warrants repeating multiple times.  People that want to purchase the titles outright can do so as well; Paradox is adamant that this is not changing anything, but instead adding to the current options to play the title that has been well supported for the past seven years by the studio.

Paradox closes their statement by announcing that they aren’t entirely sure what the monthly cost would be, and it’s one of the things they are testing out with this experiment.

While everything seems to be on the ‘up-and-up’, some people are concerned about how this may shift the studio’s release of future titles and DLC’s.  If subscribers end up with unique perks and units, or they get earlier access to upcoming DLC, many long-time hardcore fans of the studio may begin a mass exodus.  All that’s left to do right now is watch how this will inevitably play out.

Strange that Paradox was so hesitant to come out and simply announce this if there are no negative implications for long-term supporters, right?