January 2007

Nintendo’s Wario Ware franchise seemed like a really awful idea once upon a time. For those unfamiliar with the series, the blueprint for each of the games is really simple: take hundreds of simple motions and inputs, turn them into three- to four-second A

eToychest recently spoke with Paradox Interactive’s Johan Andersson regarding the company’s recently released Europa Universalis III, an epic strategy game for the PC. Paradox Interactive has made a name for itself with complex strategy games for the PC, appealing to a nice audience of hardcore enthusiasts. The most recognizable of these is, of course, Europa Universalis, which began its life in 2001 as a quality strategy epic that let players take control of Eupropean countries in a struggle to wage war and make Europe their own. The series’ latest incarnation, Europa Universalis III, which was recently released to retail, features more options and intricacies than ever before, and delves deeply into the areas of exploration, trade, warfare and diplomacy. Europa Universalis also gives players freedom to rule their nation from an impressive choice of over 250 historically accurate countries.

eToychest recently spoke with Johan Andersson just prior to the game’s release in order to get some insight into game. Andersson worked as the game’s director of development, and as such was heavily involved in all development aspects of Europa Universalis III. He has been with Paradox since 1999 and has worked as the game designer and lead-programmer for the Europa Universalis series, as well as the original Hearts of Iron.

Hello Johan. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us regarding Europa Universalis III. More than any other series released by Paradox Interactive, the Europa Universalis franchise made the company a household name, particularly among PC strategy game enthusiasts. To what do you attribute this?

The game has an almost unheard of scope and depth, and we have put a lot of attention to the details and actual history. All this leads to a game with immense replayability, which is one of the reasons people play our games for such a long time. But the main reason is obviously that our games are fun to play, and that being the developers, also think it’s fun to play.


For those who may not be among the series’ existing fan base, can you describe briefly what Europa Universalis III is all about?

EU III is a grand strategy game that spans 300 years from 1453 to 1789. Players can explore, use diplomacy, wage war and use trade to gain as much power as possible and expand their empire. It is a game for people that are interested in a little bit of a challenge even though this game is much easier to get into than any of our previous games. There is a huge community surrounding the franchise that adds both life span and exciting twists to gameplay, especially in multiplayer.

What does this game do differently compared to the previous Europa Universalis titles?

There is so much it would take too long to go over it but the brief answer is:

  • Players can start at any date during 300 years and everything in the game will be accurately reflected for that specific day
  • Nation building is flexible
  • You will have tons of historical personalities and great people in history at your disposal
  • A 3D map with more than 1700 provinces and sea zones
  • More than 250 countries, 1000 historical leaders and over 4000 historical Monarchs
  • Many more options for customization and moddability

For this third iteration of the series, Paradox has introduced a new graphics engine. If you had to pick one thing that this new engine brings to the game, what would that be? And perhaps more importantly, why is this so important?

Scalability, it can affect resolutions, how the map works etc. This has benefited both the development and programming but will also benefit the player.

Your games covers over 300 years of history by allowing players to take part in campaigns set at any date between 1453 and 1789. Why exactly were these years chosen?

You can play all the A

After much speculation, delays, and lies, news regarding the launch of the PS3 in Europe have finally surfaced. The system will be released on March 23, and for a while, only the 60 GB version will be available. The price is set at A

Though GTA: San Andreas was released ages ago in Europe and North America, it just recently made it’s way to The Land of the Rising Sun. To promote the game, Capcom has covered a few trucks and buses in GTA:SA ads. Better late then never… I guess.

Gears of War Ad on PSM3

January 28, 2007

Microsoft is full of surprises… or sneak attacks, depending on where you stand on the “console war”. You can see commercials for Gears of War everywhere, but now Microsoft did something no one expected; a full page advertisement for the popular game was placed on the back of the PSM3.

Sometimes I feel sorry for Sony…