Paradox is probably the only game developer out there that releases DLC after DLC (which would normally be free of charge updates in other games) and still gets praised by its fan base. Literally no other game company can get away with releasing so many DLCs that are nothing more than minor updates.
I've been playing video games long enough to know that every time developers "take features out" to sell it back to the consumer as DLC, the gamers are not happy and put up huge resistance against it. But for some reason Paradox seems completely immune to this. They even get praised for it. It just baffles me.
DLCs that would be Free Updates in any other game:
I have over 500 hours in CK2 so I'll focus on this franchise as an example. The base game comes with Islamic nations, nomadic nations, and merchant republics who have their own government styles compared to Feudal governments. The differences are MINOR (being able to build ports, have multiple wives, raid and raze holdings, or hold cities / tribal holdings that you normally couldn't in a feudal system).
Yet to allow players to "unlock" and play as these government types (features that are already actively used by the AI in the base game), Paradox sells completely separate DLCs for each and every one of them individually. These DLCs barely contain enough content on their own to warrant charging people money. These should be free updates, not DLCs.
Pretty much any other game developer would have happily provided these simple updates to their playerbase but for some reason Paradox has figured out that their playerbase is more than happy to pay $$$ for nonsensical DLCs like Sunset Invasion where the only feature you get is a random invasion of Europe by the Aztec Empire (a "feature" that's already in the game such as Genghis Khan and the Mongol invasion).
I mean most of them aren't cheap either. Although prices have gone down (base game is now free) recently due to the release of CK3, but at release of these DLCs they expect people to pay up to $20 for simple features. If you wanted to buy the game along with the DLCs (that should've been included in the base game) you'd be looking at paying over $350 dollars for all of it (before the recent price drops). Why not just buy a gaming console at this point?
Release of Crusader Kings 3:
What's the point of this release? The only major features CK3 brings in are better graphics and map modes, more religions, character skill tree, and more negotiation options. THAT'S IT? That warrants a new $40 game? Literally every single feature CK3 is bringing in (except for the Graphics and map mode) could've been sold to us as DLCs anyway.
BUT WAIT, that's not all. In giving us a new game, they took out MULTIPLE core DLC features we already paid for in CK2. They took out all the societies, government types, off-world powers, etc. we paid for once again (Islam, Merchants, Nomads, China, secret socities, etc. even though the AI will still be using these same exact features), just so that they sell it back to us at a future date as DLC. Not just that, they also took out all the five major start dates I'll bet that they will sell these "start dates" to us as DLC in the future as well. They just want to sell back to us the DLCs we already paid for in CK2. This is downright insulting.
I'm not an outsider hating on the game. I love Crusader Kings. But this isn't the only game where Paradox consistently screws over it's audience. Every critique I laid out there applies to their other popular franchises like Europa Universalis.
These predatory practices by Paradox needs to stop. I don't know many other developers in the present day that gets away with so many anti-consumer practices. Any time I bring their anti-consumer practices up in the subreddits, I get downvoted to hell. I'm just baffled.
They get SO MUCH of a free pass that there are literally
Front Page posts on their subreddit praising all the DLCs they asked people to pay for. That post is what drove me over a cliff to rant about it. For everyone who made it this far, thank you for staying with me through this.
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