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Paradox sets new revenue record, says it needs to address quality issues

"The quarter's game releases have not held the quality we want."

Chris Kerr

February 7, 2024

2 Min Read
Key artwork for Cities Skylines II
Image via Paradox

At a Glance

  • Paradox saw full-year revenues increase by 34% to SEK 2.6 billion, while operating profit fell by 26% to SEK 184.4 million.
  • Cities Skylines II has sold over 1 million copies since launching on October 26, 2023.
  • Paradox says it's "unhappy" with the quality of some new releases, citing issues with performance and functionality.

Cities Skylines II publisher Paradox Interactive set a new revenue record during 2023, but the company said it's "unhappy" with the quality of some projects.

As detailed in the company's financial report for the full year ending December 31, 2023, revenues increased by 34 percent to SEK 2.6 billion ($248.3 million). Operating profit, however, fell by 26 percent to SEK 184.4 million ($17.6 million) after Paradox decided to write down the development cost The Lamplighters League.

The Lamplighters League launched in Q4 but failed to meet internal expectations, eventually prompting developer Harebrained Schemes to detach from parent company Paradox and become an indie studio once again.

Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester said the Swedish company had a stable base of 6 million players by the end of 2023, noting that it ended the year in a "very strong financial position."

Wester, however, doesn't think the company has time to rest, citing the poor reception to recent releases like Cities Skylines II and The Lamplighters League as evidence of a widespread quality issue.

"We're unable to relax. EBIT is at a level we are not happy with after a large write-down, and the quarter's game releases have not held the quality we want. There is certainly potential to reach even higher," he added.

Paradox CEO pledges to do better after quality issues alienate players

Speaking during an end-year rundown published on YouTube, Wester admitted that Cities Skylines II specifically failed to meet player expectations when it came to performance and launch functionalities, noting that a lack of modding, in particular, left players frustrated.

Despite those setbacks, Wester said the game sold well and has shifted more than 1 million copies since launching in October 2023. He added that Paradox will continue supporting Cities Skylines II for "many years to come" and described it as one of the company's most important franchises.

Running through the company's Q4 release slate, Wester said the underwhelming launches of both Star Trek: Infinite and The Lamplighters League meant Paradox's financial performance "wasn't where it should be." He also said two Paradox Arc releases, Stellaris Nexus and Space Trash Scavenger, "didn't sell that much" despite garnering positive reviews.

Wester suggested that Paradox is still learning how to build franchises and said the company's big-picture goals for the remainder of the decade will revolve around "supporting our community and making better and bigger games for them to enjoy."

"We should not lose focus on our core business and what we do well," he added, "which is making great gaming experiences."

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About the Author(s)

Chris Kerr

News Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Game Developer news editor Chris Kerr is an award-winning journalist and reporter with over a decade of experience in the game industry. His byline has appeared in notable print and digital publications including Edge, Stuff, Wireframe, International Business Times, and PocketGamer.biz. Throughout his career, Chris has covered major industry events including GDC, PAX Australia, Gamescom, Paris Games Week, and Develop Brighton. He has featured on the judging panel at The Develop Star Awards on multiple occasions and appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live to discuss breaking news.

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