Paradox offers free games to compensate for bungled price increase

Paradox Interactive's recent round of price increases did not go over well with fans. The blowback was so bad that the publisher was ultimately forced to roll them back and promise refunds, or reimbursement "with games of a value exceeding the difference," to everyone who purchased any of its games at the higher prices. But the timing was a problem: The walkback came right at the start of the Steam Summer Sale, and Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester said that it wouldn't be possible to deal with the refunds until after it was over. 

The sale came to an end today, and Paradox has now revealed the details of its compensation plan. "After exploring options with our sales partners, we’ve come to the conclusion that partial refunds (as in, refunding the price difference) aren’t practically possible," Paradox senior community manager Escher explained. "Instead, we will gift everyone who purchased any Paradox product between May 17 and today (including pre-orders of Steel Division: Normandy 44 made before May 17), in any currency except USD (where prices were not changed), a free copy of a full PC game or two DLC, as a gesture of goodwill." 

Gamers eligible for the freebie can select from Stellaris, Hearts of Iron 4, Crusader Kings 2, Europa Universalis 4, Magicka 2, or Tyranny, or any two of the HoI 4: Death or Dishonor, EU 4: Third Rome, CK 2: Monks and Mystics, Stellaris: Utopia, or Tyranny: Tales from the Tiers DLCs. If you already own all of them, you'll give credited with "equivalent giftable keys" instead. Players who purchased their games from GOG or or the App Store will be able to claim their game or DLC from either of those platforms instead; if you purchased through Origin or Twitch, you're not eligible for the freebie because their prices never actually went up on those storefronts. 

To claim your free stuff, fill out this form, which will require your order ID, original purchase currency, platform information, a copy of your receipt, your email address, and of course a note of which game or DLC you'd like. You have until August 9 to make your claim, but Escher warned that they won't be handed out immediately: Paradox is currently aiming to have everything wrapped up by September 30. As for the price changes that started all the trouble, he said they have all been rolled back to their pre-increase levels, and will be held there for three months. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.