Crusader Kings 3 sold more than a million copies, pushes Paradox profits up by 102%

A crusading king.
(Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

Paradox Interactive today gave an interim report on its financial results for the latest quarter, as well as the year so far. And, even given the fact everyone's been stuck indoors for most of the year, they're pretty stunning.

A quick note that these results are in Swedish SEK, and MSEK means a million SEK. For the last quarter revenues increased by 75% while "operating profit amounted to MSEK 187.7 [$21.8 million] (MSEK 93.1 [$10.8 million]), an increase by 102 %." This rise is attributed primarily to Cities: Skylines, Crusader Kings III, Europa Universalis IV, Hearts of Iron IV and Stellaris.

Looking at the first nine months of the year so far: revenue was up 50% to just under $160 million, while profits are just over $64 million, up 78% on the equivalent period in 2019. The results also mention that, overall, Paradox now has a cool $70 million in cash.

Ebba Ljungerud, Paradox CEO, writes: "The third quarter of the year has for us to a large extent been about the launch of Crusader Kings III [...] When the review embargo was released shortly before launch, the game received an aggregate score of 91/100 on Metacritic, which is a collected rating of industry and gaming media reviews. It is our highest rating ever on Metacritic and it is, of course, extremely positive, but what makes me happiest of all is that the game was received with remarkable enthusiasm by our players. Over 19,000 reviews on Steam and over 1,000,000 units sold paints a clear picture: We have created a really good game!"

Ljungerud goes on to mention that Paradox has also cancelled an unannounced game this year. "During the quarter, we decided to cancel further development of an unannounced externally developed game. As a consequence, we wrote down the full value of the game in September, which has reduced the quarter’s earnings by SEK 28 million." That's around a $3.25 million write-off.

The report also mentions that Paradox has this year acquired the Parisian Playrion Game Studio, known for a game called Airlines Manager and mobile-focused, as well as Finland's Iceflake Studios, the developer of Surviving the Aftermath.

A grand strategy game like Crusader Kings 3 is not exactly Call of Duty, so to see it selling over a million so close to launch says everything about the fanbase that series has built over time. You can read our review and find out why it's one of the best games of the year, or just find out about how one player ended up eating the Pope.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."