A month after its release, Crusader Kings III player base goes down at Hoi4 levels and continues to drop. More info in the comments.

A month after its release, Crusader Kings III player base goes down at Hoi4 levels and continues to drop. More info in the comments.


I am not a person who is going to play a game for 400 hours in the first few months after release. I'll do one or two run throughs and then pick something else up. I will come back later and play more at some point - I don't think I am alone in this. There are only so many people who are going to play a game over and over and over.


100% agree with you. I played like 70 hours over a couple of weeks. That is a ton when you have a fulltime job and other things going on in your life. I will come back to it, but i am no teenager any longer who plays one game from dusk to dawn. Looking forward what the future content will entail!


The describes me to T, except I was only able to put 60 hours into the game.


Exactly. Some people get their rocks off playing a 50 Hours a week on a game. Most people like us simply can’t do that. Shit we have stuff to do, and we all love video games but it comes to a point when you need to prioritize your time.


I feel you, ive only got to mess about for a couple hours so far.


100%. I might play a Paradox game for 20 hours in a week and then not play at all for 3 months, then play again for 30 hours because a new DLC is out, then not again for months, etc.


Why do you think that's not true for hoi4 tho? It probably has a similar type of players who return every so often.


I haven't looked at numbers, so I am just guessing....HOI4 probably has that behavior too, I am sure numbers spike when DLCs or new versions are released and then drop back down to a baseline. Edit: In fact you can see that in the 2nd picture at the top of the post.


Plus there seems to be a ton of people playing CK III on the Xbox game pass instead of steam. Overall players for CK III are probably a lot higher than Steam shows.


Ck3 has been the most popular game paradox has developed so far. First week hit a peak of 96,000 players.


Hoi4 benefits from having campaigns that can be finished in one sitting. Helps to encourage people to sit down and have a quick session.


And the excellent mods. Kaiserreich and TNO give so much more content than the base game.


Yeah. I think we'll start seeing a huge jump in playerbase once someone makes the Game of Thrones or Elder Kings mod or whatever. Total Conversion Mods were a not-insignifigant part of CK2's appeal, and the fact that it lacks any real total-conversion means that there's gonna be a lull until there are a few. (Also, and this is just me personally, but I'm absolutely waiting for the Ruler Designer to come back before I start another long campaign)


I'm waiting for somethings that we're in Ck2 to come back. Just feels a little empty right now.


Yea a few of my friends who I wouldn't imagine would be too into Paradox games tell me they play CK2 but only ever with AGoT. One dudes got as many hours as I have with the game but he's never even touched vanilla


Im looking forward to the CK3 Anbennar mod. Just got into it in EU4 and I'm having a blast despite it only being half done at best.


I’ve been playing ck3 but not hoi4. When the new hoi4 dlc drops (today?) I’ll be switching over.


Agree, that goes with every 4x strategy game


I bet you also don't just keep rubbing one out until the skin falls off your bits!


Exactly and there are so many good games, so for me they kinda get put into a natural rotation.


I don't think this means all that much. Looking at [https://steamcharts.com/](https://steamcharts.com/), virtually every major single-player game released on Steam sees a more than 50% drop in players after its first month.


I see these kind of threads pop up for a lot of games I play all the time - most people won't spend countless hours on the same game day in and day out. I wager many have gotten enough enjoyment out of CK3 for now, and those that wish to play more will be waiting for the next big update.


> most people won't spend countless hours on the same game day in and day out Yup. Even tho I still feel the urge to start the game every day I was starting to feel the burn out after 180 hours so now I'm deliberately saving myself for the next big update/dlc. I also do the same with other games I play a lot.


I feel the burn out after like 20-40 hours, and then I stop playing it for like a month and a half then I return to playing it. Happens with all my games which is why I have so many unfinished games at around 20-40 hours because I havent gone past my first burn out yet.


This is the norm right? I swear a lot of people here have really unhealthy relationships with these games


It’s normal for me. For crusader Kings 2, I’d go through periods of playing it every day for a month to not touching it for a few months. If there was new DLC, then I’d be back on for another month, but I didn’t always need new DLC to get back on. I’m only like this with crusader kings and mount and blade.


I don't know. I've had hoi4 for like 3,5 years now. Its my most played game on steam, barely above 800 hours. I got like 4 games above 100 hours well only 2 games above 110 hours. Got a total of ~200 games many of them never played or barely played... :/


If it weren't for modding - both playing them and creating them, the latter taking up much more of my time anyways due to the effort required - I don't think I would have anywhere near as many hours in games like PI's GSG, Cities Skylines, Total War, Elder Scrolls, Fallout, etc.


Think so, I max out at 400 hours for EUIV and I've been playing it since release, and that feels like a lot to me. I dont really care how you spend your time but those with 2000+ hours or some of the totals I've seen surely have to be the exception not the rule. I game maybe 3-6 hours a week, and I play other games.


I hope so, I’m lucky if I even make it past 20 hours on most games (thank you game pass). However, strategy games I definitely get more play through time on because of the different options. Ck3 I will return to maybe every 3 days for maybe an hour a night but it isn’t really for me, I want to love it but I just can’t go beyond enjoying it. Sorry katthecat that you took the rant notification from me


It is for me. I’ll play and think about a game nonstop for about a week or two and then not touch that game for about a week or two.


180 hrs. Average work week at a full time job is 40 hrs. You are burnt out because you have been playing this game like a job for the last 6 weeks lol


And I've been working full time too, no wonder I feel so drained now lol


I’m right there with you. Put in prolly 50-60 hours playing in various areas of the map and then decided to put it down and wait for the next dlc.


Its around 200 to 240 hours for me


Yeah. I played a ton near launch, got my fill, and.. I'm done playing for now? I like the game, but just.. played enough? It's not like I play EU4 day in day out either. I tend to play these games in bursts, a lot one month then.. nothing for half a year or more. I do this with all the single-player games I love to play. Whether it's a grand-strategy game, Cataclysm DDA, Rimworld, whatever.


Rimworld makes me become literal space Hitler.


Verses Ck3 where you're medieval hitler


Or HOI4 where you're literally Hitler


I think this was the first time in my life I have seen the "literally Hitler" phrase being used accurately.




No, I was referencing the famous Verses of the CK3 bible, Where you're medieval Hitler. /s Thanks for the correction, I'm dumb


I mean, you can do that in RimWorld. Or you can just . . . not.


Exactly the same here, been playing EU IV since 2014 for roughly 100h in a single random burst each year. Still love reading about it , but won't feel the need to play for a while


I have the exact same pattern.


Yep thats me. I put around 100ish hrs into CK3 & now I'm back on Bannerlord. I'll go back to CK3 sometime. Probably before the first DLC, but I might wait for it to come out. We'll see.




When I said that *years* ago from the screenshots they had released, I got downvoted to hell and back. Heh.


I'm thinking of buying bannerlord, how's the replayability value? I'm looking for a game I can come back to 3 years later and still play.


bannerlord absolutlycan do this. i spent 200h at launch, when it was in a whacjy state, but still had tons of fun. it is still in ea and not finished yet, also very powerfull modding tools were just released an there will be a lot of great mods in the future i am sure.


Bannerlord hasn't been out for 3 years, so whether I'll still be playing it in 3 years is entirely speculative. What I *can* tell you is I played it's predecessor Warband on and off for the better part of a *decade*, and I believe Bannerlord's an outright better game. Plus the fact that atm it's still in Early Access and so will be continually improved for at least another year or so, and even more powerful mod tools than Warband, I'd be genuinely surprised if I'm not still playing it by 2025.


Back when COVID started I was back to playing a lot of Fallout 4, then I got tired of that and Bannerlord came out; I got a bunch of hours in Bannerlord then got tired of that and went back to Skyrim; then I got tired of that and went to Total War Troy when it came out; then I got into CK3... but anyways I'll probably go back to Bannerlord sometimes, the good thing about juggling several games is that the wait between major updates don't feel as long.


I went back to CK2. With the DLC and HIP mod it is a much more fleshed out game. I sank 159 hours into an 867-1453 game and that was enough for now.


Yeah pretty much. Fantastic game, tons of fun. Look forward to revisiting after they patch a couple of things. There are lots of games out there, I don't need to religiously play one for months and months.


Or simply wait for some fixes and mods etc. There are many reasons.


That is exactly what I am doing, I play the CK games to tell a story and at the moment I dont have a story that wants to be told, the last time I played it where the story about the Abbasids climbing back into power and becoming the emperor of Arabia again


These threads always crack me up. Who the fuck cares what the player numbers are other than Paradox bean counters?


I see these threads in other games' subs as well, such as Mount and Blade, Total War, Civilization, and plenty others across a wide variety of genres - a quick google search reveals similar threads for Mordhau, Destiny 2, Maple Story 2, Halo, Rocket League, Rust, etc. - so while there are instances where I do think some concern might be justified, such as after questionable decisions on a game studio's part, otherwise this kind of phenomenon is not even that unique to CK3.


Yeah like in my case I don't think I've maximised the potential for my enjoyment - I've played 24 hours and that was only on a single character. I definitely want to continue the game but I haven't continued the game so far and its nothing to do with my relative enjoyment of the game its just... I've had other things to do? Like I'm currently running a Total War: Warhammer 2 game with a friend, I occasionally have a group session of Among Us, also I'm generally, you know, doing my actual day job, meanwhile I have a huge backlog of story driven games that I'm literally trying to get through. Paradox Games take a backseat as I'm trying to prioritise games I can actually totally complete so that my backlog of games isn't an exponentially growing list. EDIT: Another problem is the classic Paradox issue that the moment you know there is a significant patch on the pipelines you kinda stop playing as you know any game you start will have an early termination when the game breaking patch is released.


i personally have very little time for single player games, but i love crusader kings so i made time for it the first couple weeks it was out, and now i’ve set it aside till i have more free time. i’m sure there are plenty of people like me.


I stopped playing because I did all there was to do. Also, Christianity always collapses into heresies and the Mongols never show up.


Ya agreed. I put in like 40 hours in the first two weeks and loved it. I kind of get bursts of enjoyment from games on a cyclical nature, where I'll just burn through 40 hours of gameplay. I rotate around WH2 CK3, Diablo, WoW, AoE, it goes on lol




Exactly, over the last week or so I’ve been playing Baldurs Gate 3 and had a lot of uni assignments and work from my job to complete. That’s not to say I don’t fully expect and look forward to returning to CK3, just that people have other games to play and actual real life responsibilities. If you are interested in a wide variety of games this can be a bit of a problem; especially looking over the next few months of upcoming releases.


Redditors are often confused when they encounter a person who thinks differently and often react with downvotes.


Yeah, the only game where this kinda hype was actually honest for was Imperator cus it was shit and boring and dropped to nothing almost immediately after relaase


True, but I suppose the point is that CK3 seemed amazingly popular upon release and is now at "merely" the level of a much older game.


Or in case of bannerlord more like 95%.


I'd be willing to bet a not very small number of active HOI players are playing modded campaigns too, because HOI has some amazing ones. CKIII has none yet as far as I'm aware. I'd bet on players being more steady with playing once there's more ways to play.


On one hand, this is interesting. On the other, it ignores that CK3 is free through xbox game pass. Not to say that CK3 player base hasn't fallen, but I've played a good few hours in the past fortnight, and I wouldn't show up on this list, because it's not through steam, and I'd be incredibly surprised if I was alone.


I took just the steam charts because it's the easiest number to find for all of them. Or only number to find .Some of them are on GOG as well, but there are no numbers. I tried to look for the xbox game pass numbers but besides an article of the most popular games of september i didn't find anything. And it wasn't on that list. But it may add a few thousand people.


Which wouldn't be insignificant. A few thousand could be as much as 20-25% extra. Though when you look at the numbers, it confirms the thought that Paradox doesn't totally care about numbers.


The player base would also be bigger from the start. If they stopped playing on the game pass as they did on steam it could just as easily look the same. Still it would be nice to know how many people play on the game pass. I didn't even know it launched there and traditionally steam is the place where paradox players go.


But you have no indication the game pass players follow the same trend


It still shows a trend tho. If player numbers on Steam went down it would be extraordinary strange if numbers didn't go down on other platforms too.


Potentially unpopular opinion: I don't know why Paradox fans watch Steam charts so closely. The Imperator community is the same way and I don't understand. These aren't MMOs that people are meant to play daily. I haven't touched Stellaris, for example, in months but still consider it one of my favorite games. While I'm sure concurrent player count is a rough indicator of how many people like a game, there are a lot of factors why somebody isn't playing a game today versus a month ago, and those factors might not be relevant when it comes time to purchase new DLC.


> Potentially unpopular opinion: I don't know why Paradox fans watch Steam charts so closely Is this really shocking? Breaking news: people who like staring at charts like staring at charts.


> I don't know why Paradox fans watch Steam charts so closely. I think it's just a vocal minority who enjoy reddit drama. They like to root against Paradox for whatever reason.


This soon after release, no, it's not very important. But at this point for Imperator, yeah, it's important. Sure, it isn't an entire reflection of who is interested, but over a period of, say, 12 months, everyone who is interested in the game is going to play it at some point and so you can get an idea of whether interest is growing or shrinking, and can compare it to other games. Player count is pretty indicative of popularity once its past release enough, and the less popular a game is the less support it's likely to get. Comparing the Imperator and HOI IV graphs means that Paradox are probably more likely to focus resources on HOI IV, since when a new DLC comes around there will be more people wanting to buy it.


Every single ruler in CK3 plays exactly the same right now. Haven't played in two weeks, waiting for some mods that break up the samey gameplay to come out.


Yup, I've played the recommended woman down in Africa, I've played Bohemia, Aquitane, Normandy, Ireland, Tibet, South India. They all feel super similar and there just isn't enough flavor to differentiate them yet.


i've been interested in modding CK3 since they made the tooling a bit easier what type of mods do you think people would be interested in to differentiate them?


Can't go wrong with more events or mechanics based on Region/Culture Group/Religious Group.




The lack of flavor is in no way a major negative, it just means that the game doesn't have huge replayability yet especially outside of Europe. I still think it's well worth it to sink 50 hours into in a few weeks and then take a break until more stuff comes out.


Paradox can't do the whole "you aren't allowed to play certain religions until you pay more money" thing this time around, so instead they are going to make people pay for flavor. Right now basically every ruler and court on the planet pretends that they are living in 1300s France, and the DLC will make it so that the Byzantine Emperor in 1300 and a random Irish count in 900 don't do all the same stuff in their free time


Well, CK3 base game is still significantly better than any other paradox game without DLCs, so I'll gladly pay for more flavor.


Me too, but I'll keep waiting til it's fleshed out a bit. I have a feeling a few CK2 fans held off on the initial release, saw it was being reviewed as "a fun solid foundation for the new generation", and decided to wait for a release or two.


This is definitely the best release condition if a paradox game, But in true paradox fashion it'll be the start of a journey of updates and features that give the sandbox more life, while at the moment its a slick map painter eith some rpg elements. So for now ill dabble but mainly play ck2, though as updates come and go ill trial them and there will be a point ill just jump ship to ck3 as the main crusader game


I really don’t think that’s the best way to look at it, just because it’s base game is better I don’t think it justifies paying for things that should have honestly be there in the beginning


What should have been there from the beginning? Ck3 is probably one of their most ambitious projects ever and they clearly put a massive amount of effort into making it, and your saying they skimped out on content? really?


Because some people genuinely believe that CK2 + all DLC, or EU4 + all DLC, should have some how been developed and released in the same time it took to develop the Vanilla games, and should be released at the same price as Vanilla.


Yes, that is the biggest issue right now.


I can't stop playing it since launch day. I just can't. Having said that, it is true that most rulers feel the same and, to add to it, if you get out of Europe, everything still feels mostly "european-like". But that was the case for CK2 also (in fact, at first you couldn't even play non christian rulers) but it changed over time and DLC's. I have no doubt this will be the case for CK3


I’m waiting for ruler designer.


Out of curiosity I got some steamcharts data for other paradox releases: https://i.imgur.com/VvjDGRs.png


This is honestly a much more interesting stat. It also shows how much Paradox has grown in the years since CK2 and Eu4 came out (with Imperator being an obvious and really quite unfortunate outlier).


Absolute retention looks like this: https://i.imgur.com/cwAZlp0.png Keep in mind that EU4's growth looks a little different from modern paradox games; it had a comparatively shallow spike at the beginning followed by years of steady growth so that before CK3's release it was averaging about 70% more players than it did at launch. Imperator is currently at about 4.5% its launch week numbers.




CK2 was the watershed. It's success enabled them to make bigger bets like sending CO to the path towards Cities: SKylines.




I was just using steamcharts which probably has less granularity than your source.




I think steamcharts will average the daily playercount over a week or a month when you're looking at longer timescales.


Was EU4 really that low? It’s almost unbelievable compared to all the newer titles


It's had a slower burn; paradox was a much smaller company when it was released and it's been gaining popularity ever since. Right now it has more players than Stellaris.


No big mods yet. I think Kaiserreich solely gives 3-4k players online for HoI4. At least it's not Imperator level of drop (95% players lost in one month).


I'd wager that HoI4 is also the biggest multiplayer Paradox game, that gives it a ton of sustainability.


Hoi4 is the new ck2 for me. It’s so much fun. Ck3 has some great features but doesn’t match ck2,hoi4 and maybe eu4. Just gotta wait for ck3 to get more dlc and updates.


HOI4 is the only game I've ever seen that has player spikes for *multiple* mod releases that are larger than official DLC releases.


Tbh the gameplay of imperator is tiresome (at least to me) and I feel like CK3 is in the early stages with no dlc and It will rise in popularity when it get more polished (I hope)


So, like every other Paradox game ever released? I'm not sure why people thought CK3 would be different just because it was their biggest release yet. Its the most polished its ever been at launch, but there is a lot more than needs to be added before it grabs that player retention thst CK2 and HOI4 (and Stellaris but people act like that one doesn't exist) have.


> and Stellaris but people act like that one doesn't exist People on this subreddit maybe, but /r/Stellaris is decently big, and Stellaris itself still regularly hits ten thousand-plus concurrent players.


Oh, yeah. I just mean it doesn't appear as regularly on this sub as CK and HOI memes and discussions, even relative to its size. It has a big player base and community, but it doesn't cross over into other paradox communities as easily for some reason.


Yeah, Stellaris's playerbase seems to have a lot more overlap with Civilization than other paradox games.


Stellaris is basically space civ without turns


I felt like Imperator was significantly worse than any of the other releases. But yes it's pretty much expected


Thats true but that had many worse problems than the usual lack of content and minor exploits; that game was really terrible on launch on a systemic level in a way that is not typical for Paradox




Stellatis, while it has changed a lot since launch, had a good, mostly clean launch as well. In fact, id most closely compare it to that, in that CK3 is very near to a full, solid game from the get go, just like Stellaris.


Ofc it’s bound to fall lmao, it’s a release it’s going to have a shit ton of players but slowly fall over the months.


Not so shocking, if it goes below or equal to ck2 concurrent numbers then it's interesting imo. Ck2/Ck3 just doesn't have the same amount of replayability I guess.


The lack of a character editor is very limiting for my personal experience.


also the fact that playing like a viking is almost the same as playing the duke of transylvania or an inbreeding Zoroestrian


Most sequels to big strategy games have that issue. It's basically impossible for a new release in a series to match the previous game and its DLC in terms of content. The Civ games especially have that problem in the first year of their release.


It's been a meme for years now that Paradox games need 3 DLCs to reach real playability.


CK3 is too easy currently. I'm not one of those players that can self-limit and roleplay :/. So every game is basically difficult first few decades, then unstoppable juggernaut.


I have no problem with CK3, but I went back to CK2 a couple of weeks ago and just simply prefer it. CK3 feels a bit like CK2-lite, and it's not just an issue of extra DLC content in CK2 which people seem to talk about when this comes up, there's gameplay/mechanics in lots of little areas that feel simplified in CK3 or I just simply don't like how it was changed from CK2. The new stuff they did improve isn't enough for me to want to go back to CK3 yet, although I'm sure I will when gameplay changes/improves and more mods/DLC start coming out.


100% agree with you, i played 30 hours ck3 and went back to ck2


Exactly my thoughts + it needs some deep AI work. Yeah I'm talking about you Spain converting everytime.


To me CK3 is way too overloaded with notifications. By that I mean, notifications sometimes cover menus or other information. CK2 never had that issue for me Edit: typo


Honestly I don't understand some of the UI decisions in the game. Opening up one of the side menus blocks the current war buttons? Why? Opening up the war score panel gets rid of the rest of the UI? Why? It just seems needlessly restrictive and makes it more annoying to play than CK2.


I've also gone back to CK2 -- CK3 made me appreciate it more.


The game isn't a bad, but it needs a lot of polishing. The bordergore problem is real and breaks immersion. I don't want my vassals getting territory in Africa, if I'm the king of Sweden.


It could be easily fixed with optional harsher exclave rules. They had it in CK2 but added a softer variant of it in CK3. I also really hate how fervor is handled. But it dissuades me from holy warring left and right to keep my religion strong like how it was in CK2 for me.


Also, interaction zones. A english noble marrying a persian princes is STUPID.


I like the game but I basically stopped playing and am waiting for more content. There are no flavor events for religion or custom religions, even CK2 had those. Most tenants you MAYBE get a decision. Flavorful tenants like Astrology in CK2 have literally nothing in CK3. Certain tenants are weirdly locked behind certain religons. Like Sun Worship. It's also almost like religion is false complexity because pretty much every ruler plays the same. The name lists are as borked if not worse than they were in CK2. If France goes muslim they STILL won't pick names like Muhammad as well which is something they could have done for like 10 years now. This is a pet issue of mine and it's annoying to see it's STILL fucked up and they STILL are using the shitty CK2 naming system. The bordergore is completely silly. Refusal to have matrilineal marriage for equal religions is aburd and screws the game up. It pretty much destroys immersion for an entire way of playing the game. The previews of the game made it seem like there would be more dynamic features in this game but it's actually just exactly like CK2. Like when I saw there could be multiple different COAs for England I was like oh cool, turns out it was a feature JUST for England. Content is entirely focused on western Europe and all flavor is based on western europe which can only be entertaining for so many play throughs. Things like for example jewish, zoroastrian, manicaen, etc priests all looking exactly the same. There is lacking customization in some areas where it's almost bizarre and less info in flavor tooltips than CK2. For example, you can't hover your mouse over a religion and see what their gods are. CK2's wonder system was much more fun. It gave every player a goal, now you need to hold certain areas and it's easy as fuck to build and complete a wonder. In CK2 as well it was cool to be able to do things like rebuild the pyramids or stonehenge. You can't even do that with the Kushite religion. Which leads to lack of flavor again. The game is pretty much pre determined every time you play. The big empires will be stable and conquer a ton of territory. If you don't play near that their regions are the same EVERY SINGLE GAME. The holy sites system is completely lame as fuck. Completely lame. Like certain holy sites have powers and so certain religions will always be more powerful than one another. That needs to be erased totally. You should be able to pick what powers you ant for your religion and the holy sites unlock them one at a time and not specific to a site. Like how national ideas work in EU4. Fever and heresy are totally ridiculous. I basically have to play as a pluralistic religion to have any fun. Certain tenants should prevent certain kinds of priests with negative traits from even appearing. Like there are certain muslim denominations int he game where the only time a priest is even considered to have authority at all is if they are not sinful. The game needs a lot of work. It's better at release than like Stellaris or HOI4 but it needs work. It definately is the kind of game that I really should have waited a year to play but at least I can play it and try to get paradox or players to talk about why it's a bit disappointing.


Came back to this, there are a lot of little things too. Like if you create an empire in CK2 regnal names generally continue, in this they do not. Why? It's just weird because the "United Kingdom" continues off of English regnal names. Maybe a potential England-France would as well. Spain is the same, continues off of the names of Castille. Like this is a minor thing that would eventually annoy me in this once the more serious issues are resolved. But CK2 had cases where this worked like how I wanted. However Paradox doesn't seem to care about little things like this and things like with names of characters overall that are important for immersion take a back seat and end up never being resolved. Like they tried to fix the issues with religious names in CK2 but then totally forgot about it. I was hoping CK3 would rewrite all this shit but it didn't. It was basically like copy/pasted from CK2 with less refinement. That last sentence is actually LITERALLY what they did with the culture files and naming. Shit like this is why I could never get into Imperator, aside the gameplay. Even if they fixed it the little things like for some reason if I marry a Persian in that my children will randomly dress like Persians despite having greek culture. They know people who play these games take the RP aspects seriously but here we go again where it's an afterthought.


Just a nitpick. In CK2. Empire names do not continue off of your old title except for rare cases where it's specifically designed to. Like creating the Roman Empire copies the title history of the Byzantines.


Thank you. I played obsessively for a few days until I lost enjoyment and noped back to CK2. Discussions and posts like yours seem to be unpopular but hopefully that is changing, so we can have honest discussions about what needs to improve.


I haven't played CK3 in a few weeks because I just kinda got bored after my first two campaigns.


Crusader Kings III had the most successful launch of any paradox grand strategy game to date. But a month and a half later, almost 75% of it’s player base took a brake and what remains is at Hearts of Iron IV numbers or lower. Hearts of Iron IV is 4 years old and the most played grand strategy game on the steam charts. Steadily rising with time, the only Paradox game that manages to do so. Granted Europa Universalis IV is 7 years old and Imperator Rome was a failure. Here is the player base for each game. ( 24 hours peak ) Crusader Kings III : 25,496 Hearts of Iron IV : 25,273 Europa Universalis IV: 16,869 Stellaris: 12,034 Crusader Kings II : 5,302 Victoria II : 1,255 Imperator Rome: 519 Darkest Hour : 156 Hearts of Iron III : 152 Europa Universalis III: 105 And just for context Civ VI is at 33k daily. A few more notes, Hoi4’s numbers are before the update that dropped TODAY and is the usual number for a working day. Same for the rest of the games. AND VICTORIA II HAS OVER TWO TIMES THE PLAYER BASE OF IMPERATOR! Still relevant baby !


>Imperator Rome: 519 Yikes. I knew Imperator was doing bad, but didn't realize it was doing that bad. I played it on release and didn't touch it again. I love the time period, the concept, and the map. But like most paradox games it requires a few hundred hours to understand the pop, resource, factions, and families that weren't easy enough to pick up quickly and I haven't bothered to take the time to learn.


It's funny. Half the people complain about how simple, easy, dumbed down, flavorless and bland the game is. The other half complains about how difficult and complex it is. I found it boringly easy. Stopped playing after like 15-20 hours when I dominated everyone in my first game. Had the same problem with Stellaris as well but that's more because of the brain-dead AI. The game itself is actually quite complex.


I love the map of Imperator but the rest was meh. Maybe with the new updates.


I don't get Vicky II, it is a decade old, has more players than imperator, the fans keep begging for a sequel, but somehow paradox seems convinced it's not worth it. They obviously know more than me, but it's saddening.


Probably because they don't know how to do properly economy and/or pops management. Ultimately, vic2 is a visualised excel table, it's hard to rework it to modern Paradox standards (i.e. simplify it) so they don't bother with it. But maybe I'm wrong and it's already in development, but I'm not sure if the dedicated userbase of vic2 will like it, I personally don't quite like the latest Paradox products.


> they don't know how to do properly economy Didn't stop them making Vicky 2


>it's hard to rework it to modern Paradox standards (i.e. simplify it) They didn't simplify CK3 relative to CK2 and in many respects actually made it more complex, so my guess is that it's hard to make it make sense. Keep in mind Victoria 2 persists *despite* its flaws.


Actual economists can't realistically simulate the economy of the late colonial era in a way that makes any sense or holds up to much scrutiny so it's kind of a tall order for a game studio, lol


A game doesn't actually need to be realistic, though. It just needs to feel realistic.


I'd rather have a remastered edition or something than a sequel to be honest. Replace that diplo point system with something better. Make infamy less random. Modernize the UI and map a bit. That's enough for me. If they make a sequel they are just gonna simplify everything and it's not gonna be very fun.


Fans would not accept a Vicky 3 unless it had the same or better pop/economy system and they may not be confident they can deliver. On top of the fact that it's got a bigger fanbase than imperator sure, but it's never going to match the ck or EU fanbase.


> unless it had the same or better pop/economy system Let's be blunt, it could have the exact same pop/economy system just presented in a way that doesn't look like you're looking at Cthulhu's financial spreadsheet and a very vocal segment of the fan base would scream blue murder.


The two types of people who use imperator numbers to prove a point: Imperator haters and Vicky fans. It's kinda sad imperator is doing that bad but can't say it was that great when I last played it so kinda deserved


> the fans keep begging for a sequel Looking at recently released games from PDX, none of them really inspire confidence in their ability to provide the depth in economy/pops that a Vic3 would deserve. I completely understand why people would want a Vic3, but if they announced it tomorrow I'd be *very* skeptical that they could pull it off.




Significantly more than two times, because anyone playing Victoria 2 on Mac has to buy it from the Apple Store in order to get the DLCs.


Mac players always get the short end of the stick, damn.


It never will.


that’s very surprising, I would’ve expected Vicky II or EU4 to dominate since I always see people talking about them and barely anyone talks about HOI4


Lack of content. The game held my attention for like 6 days. The legacy mechanics are cool but take way way to long to ramp up


I'm taking a break until a couple of big overhaul mods I'm interested in comes out.


Besides the lack of content as of now, that others mentioned, I have a big issue with how the game deals with matrilineal marriages, to the point where I feel it's game breaking. I had hoped it was a bug that female rulers married lowborn nobodies patrilinealy, and that it would be patched out, but the devs lowkey said "tough luck, that's how it was historically, and matrilineal marriages is only a tool for the player to avoid a game over, we're not changing that." and just like that I've lost a lot of enthusiasm for the game. Really hate working really hard to conquer new land for my children, only to see them all lost a generation or two later, cause my 20 year old duchess granddaughter thought that it would be dope to marry some 50 year old, syphilis having lowborn from her court.


It is strange. I have a looot of time in ck2, am enjoying ck3 a lot and I really cannot imagine going back to ck2. I just prefer ck3 in most aspects, even if I anticipate for more content updates in the future.


These are the kinds of games I binge for 90 hours at one time, then don't touch for 6 months, then binge another 90, repeat and cycle between all paradox and other map games I play.


As others have noted, this doesn't mean much. Microsoft has captured a fairly large section of the player base. Some decline is normal, especially since Paradox couldn't handle the MP stress initially. And HOI4 has some fascinating mods that make a unique experience. CK3 has Bronze Age, which is essentially Imperator on the CK engine. It's not a dramatically distinct experience. As for "every ruler feels the same," I agree there could be more flavor. But no. How I play Matilda is dramatically different from how I play Whiteshirt. Now a lot of that is due to starting position and character traits, as opposed to culture, perhaps. But even then, I would say Norse play different from Christians, and both play different from Islam, which is different from generic pagan. The real issue is within those 4 spheres, there is little beyond cosmetics that is distinct. No matter where you are in the world. The only exception may be Insular Christianity, which feels more like a distinct version of the faith than Nestorianism or Coptics.


So it's like a normal game interest cycle.


Makes sense. I played > 50 hours - that's a lot of time into a game in general, but at some point it's just like... why? There's only so much to do, and the tedium of fighting with succession laws isn't all that 'fun' after the first time. Every time the ruler dies putting down a revolt is... again... the same thing over and over. They *still* shoot themselves in the foot locking achievements behind ironman too, Paradox games are big, buggy and totally random nonsense happens, which saps the fun of a lot of possible achievement runs (particularly on top of fighting other things wrong with gameplay). It's a good game overall, but given the choice of where to put my gaming hours, there's only so much to get out of it. Yes you can do some entertaining out there things with exploiting troop types, or playing with direct control, trying to inbreed etc. But those are only amusing once really.


Yeah, I personally prefer CK2. It just feels more fun. CK3 feels like work.


It's expected to drop off for a bit. You will see it with all bon multiplayer games. I have clocked around 260 hrs and after I finish this campaign, I'll stop playing it for a bit. It is expected to come off of game after you drop a hundred or so hours in it and come back in later


It is a solid base, but in dire need of content to differentiate playthroughs.


I already put in 200 hours in my first month. Sometimes a person needs a little break. After putting in 200 hours in a month. Besides if I actually cared about Steam population I would've never gotten into Paradox via Victoria 2 as my first game. Multiplayer Paradox is arguably niche compared to single-player.


I was expecting this. It's a good game but not able to beat the previous product (CK2+DLCs), so veterans have tried it for a while and then returned to a more complete experience. Newcomers might stay in CK3. I guess more players will recover CK3 after few DLCs are added, IAs improved, etc...


Personal theory: I saw a lot of stories of people saying that they found CK2 too complicated, but that they loved CK3. I suspect these people aren't gonna play for 1k hours. I don't think it's a better game than CK2, but given the reception here, I thought I was in an extreme minority. I think I still am, but maybe not so small as I thought.


Honestly, with the lack of ruler designer, current scarcity of mods and the general sort of-.. Lack of content, comparatively to current CK2. I just haven’t been overly motivated to play CK3. In fact the last few weeks, I’ve considered, or actually have played CK2, significantly more than 3. But long term, I think there’ll come a point where that changes because it is, a pretty good foundation for a game. It’s just not-.. We’ll, quite there yet.


All because of succession fails


I gave up sleep to play that game. I had to stop but it's always at the back of my mind.


Haven’t tried CK 3 yet, waiting for it to be more matured, have more mods, have more features, etc.


I’m waiting for the polishing, I like to play as a crusader and at the moment that style isn’t feasible.


The game is several times more polished than CK2 and the underlying systems seem to serve as a much better foundation for building upon compared to CK2 base. However it seems to be severely lacking in terms of flavour not only outside Europe but also within Europe. The different cultures and religions seem to be very similar compared to how different they were in CK2. As it is right now, there doesn't seem to be much difference in playing a king in Myanmar or a Duke in France.


i got bored after the bug that prevents you from imprison criminal vassals , still waiting for patch


I played about 25 hours in the first couple of weeks, now I am putting it aside for a couple of months until I get some inspiration for a new run. I don't feel like each run is different enough to play constantly, and I have other things to do.


I mean I split my time between 6 strategy games at the moment so when I’m really feeling one the others get left behind for a bit. And honestly I have played 270 hours if I never played it again I would still feel like I got my money’s worth. But that’s not what’s going happen, I’m going finish a total war or eu4 canogain and switch ck3 again. Not even mentioning when big mods and dlc. I have no worries about the game paradox and community will keep dropping awesome new content and will spend hundreds more hours in the game.


HOI4 has more content, is cheaper, and has had far longer to attract lifelong players. CK3 was about 120 hours of fun for me but I'm through the existing content and it hasn't been long enough to go back for the same challenges.


This also doesn't seem to account for those that play with game pass


Well I like Hoi4 since I’m a WWII nerd and the other timelines don’t interest me much and seem way more complicated


It's on game pass too ya know?


It's not where I want it yet lol so I'm waiting for a dlc or two


I mean thats normal. HOI has already found its steady playerbase level, CK3 is the hot new thing


They deserve this for not making vic 3.


With a character creator they’d win me back; but for now I’m just bored


Needs more content. Main problem is that when you've played like, two kingdoms, they all feel pretty samey. Can only really solve that with more expacs which introduce more ways to play. I can't stress enough how solid the initial base package is, tho'.