Paradox Interactive has a reputation for buggy releases, but is determined to improve its track record.
In an interview with Gamespy, Paradox CEO Frederik Wester said Paradox learned a lot of Gettysburg’s “horrible” release, and took immediate action.
“We also closed four game projects. This happened after Gettysburg,” he said. “We looked at them and said, ‘These games are not up to the standards we’re currently looking for at Paradox, so we’re going to close these projects.’ We’re not going to have any more games that are unplayable at release.”
Wester said it was a “tough summer” for the publisher but thanks to the success of games like Magicka and Crusader Kings 2 it is now in a better position than ever to drop projects if they just aren’t working out, rather than shove a sub-par product out to recoup some costs.
Paradox now has a dedicated internal QA team and has strengthened its ties with third-party testing companies. Wester said you can never rule out a buggy launch – just look at Diablo 3, despite the huge resources at Blizzard’s disposal – but he’s determined to see Paradox earn a better reputation.
“It doesn’t happen overnight. Changing the quality is like changing the direction of a super tanker; it takes time. But all the effort we’ve put in over the past year and a half will be showing up now in Q1, and we’re really excited to show off what we’ve done to the public.”
Now that it has the resources to take control of third-party production, the PC-focused publisher will double down on fewer, better-quality releases.
“When we write design documents in the office, they all sound like the greatest game of all time,” Wester said.
“Now, once it gets to vertical slice, we see if it’s great or if it’s bad, and if it’s bad, we’ll close it down and move onto the next idea. That’s what you’ll see from Paradox – fewer and better titles. The quality improvement is the most important thing we’re working on right now.”
The Swedish company’s catalogue also includes Dungeonland, A Game of Dwarves, Cities in Motion, Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, King Arthur, Majesty, Mount & Blade ad Sword of the Stars.