Crusader Kings Developer Announces Stellaris, Sci-Fi Grand Strategy Game

Emergent gameplay on an intergalactic scale.


Paradox Development Studios, creator of Crusader Kings and Europa Universalis, has always focused on the past--its titles explore the formation of real-world empires and Earth-bound emperors. But at Gamescom today, Paradox announced a new direction--the future. And that path leads right through the cosmos.

Stellaris is a sci-fi grand strategy game. It's set in outer space, with procedurally generated planets and solar systems. A Paradox spokesperson told me there are thousands to explore, and a multitude of alien races to meet, converse with, and learn about.

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The gameplay comprises empire-building, exploration, diplomacy, military pursuits, and even a ship designer. You can play as numerous different species, each with their own traits, backstories, and engineering styles. There's also a plethora of random AI species to encounter.

Stellaris' announcement trailer shows rolling vistas on a desert planet, massive star clusters, and a lone starship as it discovers new systems, each with their own planets and remote outposts alike.

No Caption Provided

Paradox is focusing on creating emergent gameplay, which will ideally stem, the Paradox spokesperson told me, from exploration and diplomacy.

Stellaris is slated for an unannounced release on PC, Mac, and Linux. For more news from Gamescom 2015, head over to GameSpot's hub here.

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Avatar image for crappy_crab

I hope the gameplay will be like "EU4 in Space" or Exploration Universalis.

Just don't make another beyond earth, that game is terrible.

Avatar image for T-ESI

Finally, more space 4x! Genre is severely lacking these days/years.

Avatar image for JimmyCos

This game will be pure gold, Paradox is the most genuine company in the videogaming industry today, all the things they make are awesome and unique

Avatar image for oflow

is this game turn based?

Avatar image for summersgod

@oflow: Unknown but probably real time because its paradox

Avatar image for DraconisRex

Looks like we're going to have yet another great game in the family of games I like. So far we've got:

Fallout 4, XCOM 2, Mount & Blade: Bannerlord & now this coming down the pipeline.

Avatar image for Relvar

@DraconisRex: All delayed to 2018 - watch

Avatar image for Boddicker

Console release?!?! >:-(

Avatar image for The-Neon-Seal

That backing tune is a cover of the theme from Tron legacy!

Avatar image for punkpunker

so poland can into space?

Avatar image for KaptenHaddock

The few details we have point towards a game very much like a 4X-game, which I really hope it isn't. I really want Victoria in space, you guys....

Avatar image for Jamoid

@KaptenHaddock: In some ways many of their games have been their version of 4x. Expanding, diplomacy, intrigue, technology, competing for resources... the main difference being that they take place on Earth (not random maps), so even though in some of the games the map is unexplored, we know what to expect.

I really wouldn't worry. Like many of their games I'm sure it will have 4x elements but I don't get the impression this is them making GalCiv or Sins of a Solar Empire. It's the first new IP that they're developing in-house since Crusader Kings I think. That to me implies it's probably not gonna be like anything else on the market. I can't wait.

Avatar image for spikepigeo

@KaptenHaddock: Each Paradox game has gameplay specifically tailored to its unique era. Victoria gameplay wouldn't make sense in an interstellar setting. Nor would CK2 or even Hearts of Iron.

The only Paradox game that could be remotely similar would be EUIV. No, I am glad Paradox is taking a crack at a full-on 4X game in space. They'll probably do it better than anyone.

Avatar image for KaptenHaddock



What I mean is that 4X games have really, really outrageously boring/lackluster internal gameplay in my opinion (the same reason is why I haven't been able to get into the EU-series), while as Victoria had government ideologies that changed the gameplay through more or less radical economic policies. The POP system was also a very interesting mechanic to manage! I want more of that stuff. I'm quite interested in politics, and Victoria was always closest to the kind of thing I wanted.

So I guess what I would want from Victoria is the POP system and the political system from Victoria (improved and/or expanded, of course), it's science fiction so they can go all out on creative government forms, historical and non-historical - but to please me they MUST NOT get stuck in the 4X-style where you've chosen a government while setting up your faction and then that is what you'll have for the rest of the game, it will never change, there are no revolutions, no secessionists, no radicals, no conservatives, there is no population that have lives and ideas of how government should be run. I want my, say, democratic state to be able to BECOME an oppressive space-theocracy, not necessarily start as one. I enjoy muh immersion, man, and it was the greatest to see your nation change flag and/or colour and perhaps even its name after a revolution you may or may not have let happen.

Also flags pls, no crests or whatever, and allow the player to name and rename your nation depending on government form. Real time, not turn based. I suppose that's really all I want.

Avatar image for Jamoid

@KaptenHaddock: Ahhh, I get you now and I totally agree. I've yet to find a 4x game I really love because they all suffer from massive endgame problems. They all get to a point where you know you've already won, but then no new mechanics are introduced to keep things challenging. The "mop up" phase. Other Paradox games do eventually suffer from that too, but at a far less accelerated rate, because they tend to be less of a race to the endgame.

It seems like something they are acutely aware of though and they also seem to be pulling some of the better parts from their other games. CKII's RPG style characters are returning in the form of science officers you can send on missions, peace treaties from EU4 and more importantly for you a system of internal strife from Victoria 2 to keep late game interesting, which as far as I know involves things like factions you can interact with or be fully taken over by. It's better you hear it from them than me though, so check out these links: - Stellaris presentation around 0:53 and Q&A at the end, around 1:19.

Hope that helps.

Avatar image for KaptenHaddock


You get my point exactly :)

Your description gets my hopes up, I'll definately check those links out when I have the time, thank you for providing them!

Avatar image for bbq_R0ADK1LL

Nooo!!! Paradox is about to steal more of my time & money!

With modern Civ games you should wait for the first expansion before buying. With Paradox games you should probably wait for the first hundred or so DLCs. I love CK2 & I've lost well over 200 hours of my life to that game but I do hate how they nickel & dime you for everything. The actual expansions are well worth buying but art like character portraits should just be thrown in for free.

Avatar image for warriors30

@bbq_R0ADK1LL: I agree 100%. You're spot on.

Avatar image for Zloth2

@bbq_R0ADK1LL: Exactly what I was thinking. Paradox makes really great stuff but they churn out as much paid DLC as a Tropico game. It's not as bad in this case as you're meant to play a 4X game over and over but still...

Avatar image for Jamoid

@Zloth2: Grand strategy games are one of the very best genres in terms of the average playtime users get out of them. You generally get your money's worth if you even remotely like the game.

Also - most DLC is entirely optional, aesthetic nonsense that really just serves as an incentive to give them money to continually support the game. The money goes straight back into the continued development of that game and others.

For the bigger DLC they release not only are they priced extremely fairly but if you choose not to buy them you still get a free patch with many of the new features included.

This is a mile away from companies that charge you for ridiculous things that were developed long before release. Blood pack, ugh.

Avatar image for spikepigeo

@bbq_R0ADK1LL: It's disconcerting at first, but then you realize that these are highly niche games that don't get huge sales. They have to get more money per player than other games.

You might also realize that you spend way, way more time on Paradox games than others, so a little extra money here and there for DLC is justified. Plus it seems they are on sale all the time.

Avatar image for bbq_R0ADK1LL

@spikepigeo: Yeah, i certainly get a lot of hours out of CK2 but I can't justify paying for A low res 3D elephant or a new set of faces whose beards don't even fit properly. Especially when they stop modders from providing those specific kinds of content.

I definitely appreciate the ongoing support but a game like CK2 probably costs a lot less to make than an Uncharted or Assassin's Creed game so I don't feel obliged to pay hundreds of dollars to keep them going.

Avatar image for Jamoid

@bbq_R0ADK1LL: Hate to be that guy, but well - don't buy them then. The pointless aesthetic DLC is there for people who either love that stuff or just want to give Paradox a bit extra to help with development costs. You're neither of those so just skip it.

Also - it's expensive to pay the wages of around 200 guys. It may cost less to make a CKII or EU4 but they also make a lot less from them because the games are fairly niche. Saying they need the money from DLC less than a company like Ubisoft doesn't make a great deal of sense.

Avatar image for deactivated-5bd1e31726b43

Is that what the graphics are going to look like or was that just a cut scene with no gameplay? I want to know what game play looks like before I get excited

Avatar image for Jamoid

@Legend_of_Link: Check it out on Steam, there are screenshots that will probably give you a better idea what it will look like.

Avatar image for warriors30

Paradox makes awesome games. All I've been playing these days is CK2 and EU4, and I can't wait for HOI4. The only thing I don't like about Paradox is that they sell too much DLC. You never get the full experience unless you're willing to spend more money.

Avatar image for XIntoTheBlue

Oooh.... and here I was thinking lately how cool it would be if Paradox made a grand strategy game in space. I will be keeping my eyes peeled for this one.

Avatar image for spikepigeo

This is the best gaming news I've heard all year aside from Fallout 4.

Avatar image for LexLas

It is it ! This is very impressive so far.

Avatar image for Smaug317

Uh maze ing