Game of Thrones is a go-to comparison for people trying to describe the feeling of playing Crusader Kings 2. "Sure," you might say to your fantasy loving friends, "it hasn't got dragons or dire wolves or ominous comets, but you can be a proper bastard to some underlings." Perhaps unsurprisingly, Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester says it's the only licence he would consider for the grand strategy studio.
"The reason we haven't approached HBO," Wester said during a ParadoxCon round table session, "is that I'm still on the fence because I'm not sure it's the right route for us to take."
Despite that, HBO did get in touch with Paradox, albeit for a different reason. "We are in contact with HBO on other things, like, we can call it 'The Game of Thrones mod,'" Wester said, referring to the popular CK2 modification. "They're not shutting it down. They're just a bit... wary about us monetising it, or if we're marketing it. It was after the Kotaku article [about the mod]," Wester said. "They were like, 'this article'. I'm like, 'yes, but we didn't write it, it was someone else.'"
It seems that the show's makers were worried that Paradox were directly profiting from the mod's existence. It's probably best we ignore the fact that, by enabling broad mod support and thus attracting a large catalogue of user-made campaigns, the game is unquestionably more attractive to those of us who enjoy that sort of thing.
"The mod is great, though," Wester says. "It would make a great franchise for us, it's just that we just need to get over that inner feeling that it's not the right thing to do ... it's a lot about creative control."
If you're wondering what a Paradox-made Game of Thrones game might look like, check out Rich's mod diary.