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Paradox Interactive breaks new ground for modding on consoles


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Paradox Interactive is launching an independent platform for game mods, which will allow PC modders direct access to console audiences for the very first time.


According to Anders Törlind, the product owner of Paradox Mods, the Swedish company's push toward releasing games on console platforms was the catalyst for creating a dedicated distribution platform. After years of PC focus, there was a huge potential audience that wouldn't be able to enjoy Paradox games in the same way.


"You might recall a time -- not so long ago, actually -- when we only published PC titles," Törlind said, when we spoke yesterday. "There was a time when we were basically Steam exclusive, and at that point we could rely on Steam Workshop for our modding needs.


"But as we started to distribute our own games, and as we started to move into the console space, we realised that, in order to serve all of our customers with mods -- and we think mods are a very important part of the gaming experience -- there would be a segment of our players that couldn't enjoy modding; neither the act of modding the game, nor using mods."


Paradox Mods has been in development for around a year, and Törlind admitted that mod creation will remain the preserve of PC users for the time being. "We might go into that eventually," he added. But for now Paradox Mods is chiefly notable for giving console players an unprecedented degree of access to an essential aspect of PC gaming culture, and for being a clear signal of the way the PC market is changing.


"We investigated various solutions," Törlind said. "But we came up with the conclusion that, in order to be able to serve every operating system -- be it console or PC -- and every distribution platform out there, we needed to have a system that was completely agnostic from both."


While the integration with consoles is perhaps the headline feature, Paradox Mods also reflects an expectation that PC publishers can no longer be "Steam exclusive" by default -- as Paradox once was. Valve's platform may still be the overwhelming market leader, but that dominance has also never felt more legitimately challenged than it does right now.




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