"A patch is never late! Nor is it ever early. It arrives precisely when I mean it to do!"
Paradox Interactive (not to be confused with Paradox Entertainment, from which it split off) is a Swedish computer-game developer, generally focusing on historical Real Time Strategy games. Unlike most Real Time Strategy games, the Paradox games tends to have a greater focus on the Grand Strategic level, you control not individual units but the resources of entire nations.
Paradox games are (in)famous for being buggy at release, having a cliff-side learning curve and comparatively unimpressive graphics except in the newest Hearts of Iron and the second Victoria (which on the upside gives them relatively modest graphics card requirements, but since there's so many AI calculations going on a powerful CPU is a must), and not being "complete" until after they've gotten an Expansion Pack or two. On the other hand the support tends to be decent, with patches for the aforementioned bugs available soon after release. Also, the games' complexity offers a great deal of replay value. The massive variety of Game Mods available (and the ease of creating your own, as most of the key data is stored as .txt files with fairly intuitive code) also helps.
Games and series produced by Paradox Interactive:
- Svea Rike ("The Swedish Realm") : An Edutainment Game focusing on Swedish history. Sort of a predecessor to their later historically-themed games.
- Europa Universalis: The flagship franchise of the company, focusing on the period of roughly 1400-1820.
- Crusader Kings: Focusing on The High Middle Ages, 1066-1400. Later followed by a sequel. Crusader Kings 2 covering the same time period but with updated game mechanics.
- Victoria an Empire Under The Sun ("Vicky"): Starts with the first full year of Queen Victoria's reign (1838) and ends with World War I. The Expansion Pack Revolutions ("Ricky") ends when Hearts of Iron starts. Victoria 2 starts earlier (1836) and instead triggers Queen Victoria's coronation as an in-game event 2 years into your game.
- Hearts of Iron: A diplomatic and tactical wargame focusing on World War Two.
- Darkest Hour
The games also boast an active community of writers of After Action Reports. An interesting feature is the ability to import your saves from one game to another using official or unofficial software tools or (if you have a lot of time and patience) manually, theoretically allowing you to play the same game from 1066 to 1963.