Crusader Kings II, originally releasing onto Steam in February 2012, is a dynasty simulation title created by Paradox Development Studios, the same developers behind Cities: Skylines and Europa Universalis IV. Crusader Kings II is a game that since launch has embraced the use of DLC and updates to extend the replayability of their title. In the digital age, the idea of purchasing a game and never getting any kind of update or additional content is almost strange. Crusader Kings II gives players the ability to control a Medieval Dynasty beginning in 1066, where the game ends if your character dies without an heir, you have all of your titles stripped from you, or when the in-game clock rolls around to 1453. Everything that your Dynasty does until that point though is up to you.
What is really incredible about this five year old game, though, is that the latest DLC update came out only six months ago and fans are probably already looking forward to the next expansion Monks and Mystics, whose release date is still TBA at this time. Over the last five years, Crusader Kings II has received 14 different pieces of DLC. Each of these packs has served to expand the scope of the game by adding new races, new army formations, added depth to systems such as how you influence other parties, and even giving you an entire new time in history to explore starting at 769 or 867. Since the original release of Crusader Kings II, these updates have also been releasing in a frequent and well-ordered manner, each coming 4-7 months after another. For fans of Paradox’s other popular game Europa Universalis IV, Paradox even released a conversion tool so that players could convert their saved games and transition over to Europa.
It hasn’t just been official support that has kept Crusade Kings II alive, though, as the game has also had popular fan created mods. This has allowed anyone to create their own campaigns and regions to explore and dominate as they see fit. Some of the more noticeable mods include a total conversion mod for Game of Thrones, and even a mod titles “Elder Kings” that allows players to take control of the various races from The Elder Scrolls series and explore Tamriel and other lands of Nirn.
Since the release of Crusader Kings II, Paradox has even gone on to develop four more games with 12 pieces of DLC between them. This is not only showing fans of their games that they can continue to make new and interesting titles, but that games like Crusader Kings II don’t get left behind in progress. While it might be this game’s 5th anniversary, for a player who only played this title at launch, returning might almost be like playing a new game.
Have you been playing Crusade Kings II? Compared to launch how is the title now? Would you like to see more games adopt this DLC strategy