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Paradox acquires Prison Architect and is exploring new 'Architect' games

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Prolific strategy publisher Paradox Interactive has purchased all the rights and assets for the Prison Architect (opens in new tab) IP from Introversion Software. Beyond giving Paradox ownership over a three-year-old game—which it also already publishes on iOS and Android—it lets the publisher turn it into a series under the 'Architect' umbrella. 

One notable difference between Prison Architect and the rest of Paradox’s contemporary catalogue is the absence of DLC. Paradox Development Studio’s games typically receive the most, with Crusader Kings 2 (opens in new tab) boasting 15 expansions and more DLC beyond that. Cities: Skylines (opens in new tab) has more in common with Prison Architect and launched around the same time, and it has seven expansions and various smaller content packs. 

While lots of post-launch extras are par for the course with Paradox, the fact that Prison Architect has already been out since 2015 and has been updated several times since then means it might be left alone, with Paradox instead looking to develop new Architect games straight away. Though judging by CEO Ebba Ljungerud’s statement, it might be a bit of both.

“Just as we’ve done for other management-strategy games like Cities: Skylines and Surviving Mars, I believe the considerable playerbase of Prison Architect will be excited to see where we can take the game next, and we’re eager to explore development of potential new games based off of the ‘Architect’ IP. We promise to exercise good behaviour with this cherished title going forward.”

Paradox hasn’t announced any developers yet, or if future games will be developed in-house. My pitch: Dynasty Architect—basically Crusader Kings 2 but you also have to manage a castle. Dig a moat, plan feasts, assassinate your spouse. Paradox’s dynastic sim is probably coming to an end soon, so let’s get the CK2 team on this straight away. 

As for Introversion, co-founder Mark Morris promised more details on their upcoming projects soon. Last time we checked in, it was early days for possible colony sim Order of Magnitude (opens in new tab), and we’ve seen nothing since. Indeed, it’s still not even on Introversion’s official site (opens in new tab)

Fraser Brown
Online Editor

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.