New Paradox CEO looking to ramp up acquisitions and invest in mobile

Ebba Ljungerud has a big valuation to live up to in her new role. The solution? Keep investing in the right studios and bringing their strategy games to the mobile market.

With ParadoxCon (PDXCon) recently wrapped up, Paradox Interactive is looking towards the future. As Gamasutra highlighted, incoming Paradox CEO Ebba Ljungerud is looking to enact changes to the way Paradox releases its games and to focus on further acquisitions. Reuters reported that “[Paradox] shares have risen almost 500 percent since it listed two years ago, giving it a market value of nearly 21 billion crowns ($2.3 billion).” Ljungerud has some mighty big expectations to live up to, as a result.

Her expectation is that “at least 10 percent of Paradox’s sales” will be mobile games by 2020. Currently, the only mobile titles that Paradox has are Knights of Pen and Paper (both 1 and 2), as well as Prison Architect Mobile. For context, the Paradox Interactive library of titles on Steam span 8 search pages. However, if Paradox isn't careful, it may run into is the curse of premium pricing on mobile, which didn't help Civilization 6 at the beginning. According to Reuters, “[Paradox] has a fanbase of more than 2 million who play one of its games each month, and a registered user base in excess of 7 million.”

These are big numbers to capitalize on. “Expectations are high, that is obvious,” a portfolio manager from Sweden, who has an 8.6 percent holding in Paradox, told Reuters. “There’s the high valuation both on existing products and prospects they will make strategic deals.”

Ljungerud is stepping into an exciting time for Paradox, especially with Harebrained Schemes’ acquisition firmly under their belt. Paradox has carved out a tidy niche for itself over the years. The strategy-game publishing powerhouse has produced some of the most interesting strategy games of the last 10 years, including Cities: Skylines and Stellaris. The best way for Ljungerud to differentiate herself from owner and former CEO, Fredrik Wester, is to do things a little different. And Paradox investing more money into mobile development (and potentially acquisition) will certainly help. 

Managing Editor

Amanda has been meandering around the game journosphere since 2010, mostly covering indie games, culture, and industry news. These days, she talks about the business of making games through a critical cultural lens. She adores RPGs, weird narrative indie games, and strategy games that take forever to learn. Amanda is also the managing editor of SuperParent. You can find her on Twitter as @AmandaFarough or you can email her at amanda.farough@gamedaily.biz.