Paradox Interactive’s classic medieval grand strategy game Crusader Kings II is now free-to-play. The news was tweeted out by Paradox earlier today, and you can download and play the game for free on Steam, but we’ll admit to still having a few questions.
Last year, Paradox made CK2 available as a “download today, keep forever” free deal, and it’s not uncommon for games to offered up free on Steam for a limited time. Indeed, Paradox’s mention of this being “For PDXCON” might lead you to believe that CK2 is only free for the duration of the convention, which takes place Friday through Sunday in Berlin.
However, there’s no end date attached to the deal on the Crusader Kings II Steam page, and there were no time-based qualifiers in either Tweet announcing the move. And making CK2 permanently free-to-play seems like a good idea, considering its lengthy list of DLC — all of which is at 50% off for the weekend. (The fact that Paradox went to the trouble of making a new piece of splash art that prominently features the words “FREE TO PLAY” could also be a factor.)
From a personal standpoint, I took advantage of the “one day free forever” deal last year and have racked up nearly 500 hours of play time, while also spending on a few of the DLC packages, so giving away the base game for free got Paradox into my wallet. If we get confirmation, about the permanence of this deal, one way or another, we’ll let you know.
UPDATE: Crusader Kings II is indeed free-to-play forever, as confirmed by Paradox on Sunday. The move coincided with the announcement of Crusader Kings III, which will be released in 2020. You can also snag the Old Gods expansion for CK2 for free by signing up to receive news on the Paradox site. Paradox is also running a promotion called “The Monarch’s Journey,” which has you completing various tasks in CK2 to earn cosmetic rewards for CK3 when it launches.