Medieval Strategy Life-Sim 'Crusader Kings 3' Announced for 2020

Paradox enjoyed unexpectedly popular strategy hit with 2012’s Crusader Kings 2, a game whose focus on feudal and dynastic politics in the middle ages allowed it to reach beyond the strategy studio’s usual audience. It was a game where you didn’t guide the affairs of nations and empires, except as they incidentally became the affairs of your individual ruler, their heir, and their extended family. Full of intrigues and murderous plots around courts of corrupt and incompetent nobles, Crusader Kings 2 could be played as a strategy game, or as a narrative sandbox.

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I can’t think of any other game series that would advertise their game by murdering a baby.

I went, “Wow, they’re just gonna do that, huh?”

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I am torn over this: CK2 was obviously nearing the end of what was possible with DLC layered onto its engine… but all that accumulated complexity and breadth will be lost, inevitably, in whatever the new, core CK3 scope will be.

I am unambiguously pleased that Paradox recognise that user-accessibility, and soft-hints about options, are the biggest thing that needs improvement on CK2.

Also, the people you’d expect to be mad about the phrase “Deus Vult” not appearing in the game are mad about the phrase “Deus Vult” not appearing in the game, and I really hope they decide to boycott Paradox so the rest of us can play our weird medieval horse-romancing strategy RPG in peace.


Also, I’m really curious to see how much of the world is portrayed on the map this time. The screenshots popping up in articles all show Great Britain and Ireland, presumably being screenshots of the new tutorial, but I can’t imagine them rolling back the representation of northern Africa and central Asia since they made a point of enhancing both of those regions in the later CK2 free updates.

India’s a big question mark, though. Rajas was never a particularly popular expansion, I don’t think, but it’s also a cool and vibrant area to explore during this time period. And then there’s China, which they never figured out how to properly represent on the map despite having a whole China-themed CK2 expansion. But maybe their newer Clausewitz engine can do those areas more justice?

I recently passed 800 hours on CK2 so yeah I’m pretty excited.


Cool! Haven’t played CK2 anywhere near the amount I wish I had, mostly because of lack of capable computer. Paradox’s games are really alluring for me. Mostly put my time into Hearts of Iron 2 and EU3 but I wanna try to play more of them whenever I have a machine that can.

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I just read the article about it on RPS and glanced through the comments. I had a good chuckle at all the gnashing of teeth going on in regards to Deus Vault. They’re acting like its removal will ruin the entire game. The thing I’m concerned about it how relatively thin it might be on release as many Paradox and Civ games tend to be after replacing a previous entry and all its dlc’s.

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This is the thing though: they might roll back representation to just Europe for CK3, and then re-expand in more DLC. There’s something to be said for a more focused core game.

Honestly? I’d rather have Victoria 3. I want my communist governments!

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The whole stripping back of complexity thing is exactly why I’m excited for this. CK2 has always been impenetrable to me, and the last time I even tried it was several expansions ago. I’m also just that person who really likes following along with a game’s growth and change over time, so a fresh start is exactly what I want from this series.


I wondered if they were going to announce CK3 when they made the base game of CK2 free.

“First one’s free” and all that.

I’m optimistic though because the drama that could result from CK2 being focused on the characters instead of the nations is what continues to draw me to the game. I hope they keep that focus. A multi-generational story telling engine is what we have in CK2 but it’s wrapped in an intimidating interface. If they can keep that focus while making it slightly easier to play, I’ll be happy.

But my wallet cried out OH GODS NO! at the announcement. I’m well aware of how PDX handles DLC.

Maybe this new release will eventually convince me to try to decode CK2, but what’s more likely is that I’ll just continue to fantasize about eventually doing so.

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Oh well. Back to the representation of a to be colonized people in CK being my family in Connacht circa 1066.

But also so not looking forward to the hundreds of dollars in DLC costs.

I’m excited, I never could afford to go hard on DLC for CK2, so I’ve mostly been playing the base game + a few odds and ends for years. Any rollbacks of DLC features, I just won’t notice. I used to have to get the train from Vancouver to Bellingham a couple of times a week, and it was one of the only games my laptop could play easily offline, so I’ve played an unholy amount of CK2.

Yep you can clearly see who is who in the paradox forums with this “controversy” but we always knew they were there, sadly the type of game is a magnet for racists.

I’m really excited to see how CK3 turns out. If they can improve the chaotic aspect of warfare and keep the chaotic nature of the characters it can be very interesting.