Paradox Interactive, the Swedish video game publisher behind Cities: Skylines, Stellaris, and Crusader Kings II, has acquired 33% of developer Hardsuit Labs according to a press release from the publisher.
Hardsuit Labs is a Seattle-based developer that was partly behind the creation of Blacklight: Retribution, a free-to-play first-person shooter filled with all sorts of lovely futuristic tech. The original developer of the game Zombie Studios shut down in January 2015 after the company’s owners decided to retire. Development of Blacklight: Retribution was picked up by Builder Box, a company that was created by developers who had worked on the game and weren’t quite as ready to retire from game development. Builder Box changed their name to Hardsuit Labs a month later following some resistance to their original name. Hardsuit Labs has recently taken over the PC rights of the game from Perfect World and are currently working on stabilizing the game and adding a tiny bit of new content (although nothing major).
With 33% of the company now in their back pocket, Paradox Interactive now holds a minority stake in the relatively young video game development company. Paradox intends to act as a sort of silent partner in the arrangement, although they will take up publishing duties for Hardsuit’s upcoming unannounced project. Paradox retains the option to increase their percentage stake of the ownership in the future should they decide to do so. For the moment, the Sweden-based publisher seems content on adding another studio to their brand and increasing their publishing portfolio. Paradox has been working on expanding their business lately, acquiring Age of Wonders developer Triumph Studios in June of last year.
For now, Hardsuit Labs is hard at work on an unannounced project. If you’d like to hop into their free-to-play shooter Blacklight: Retribution, you can grab it on Steam for the PC or via the PlayStation Store for the PlayStation 4, though you may want to wait for Hardsuit to finish up their transition of the game to new servers.
What do you think of Paradox Interactive acquiring a minority stake in Hardsuit Labs? Do you think this is a sign that the company is looking to expand beyond its stable of mostly strategy games? Let us know in the comments below!