There has been a lot going on in the Stellaris community. In recent days, it has come to attention that Paradox is closing down studios that have been tied to the development of Stellaris. They are intending to close their development studios in Malmö and Umeå in order to focus on development in Stockholm. As far as we know, that is roughly 25% of the development team involved in Stellaris. In which way and to what extent is this going to influence the overall quality of the development, nobody knows but them.
We won’t speculate how much impact this will have on further DLC expansions, patches, and overall effort on keeping the game alive as much as possible. While it is very justified to get suspicious of any corporate moves in today’s gaming landscape, we have to take a more logical and fact-based approach to the issue. While it’s important not to shy away from digging into corporate shenanigans, it’s also smart to have a more rational approach toward the news. We will have a look at what Paradox developers and the community are saying.
While speculation and drama are sometimes fun, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. Paradox closing down studios is not minor news, so it’s very important to actually look at the developer’s statements firsthand. A lot of times there are comments and videos just spewing random speculation, and it can get messy really fast. Let’s look at what Marcus Hallberg (Paradox manager) has to say. Note: The full interview is in Swedish and the translation might be rough.
Swedish magazine Placera had an interview with Marcus Hallber (Paradox manager), he states:
While it sounds like corporate mumbo jumbo, we do acknowledge that it is possible that Paradox just wants to centralize its development. On the other hand, the fact that they are not opening new positions in Stockholm, their main studio, is indicative of actually laying off people, rather than centralizing operations, so take it as you will.
Enfield_PDX (developer) said in a recent statement on the Paradox Forum:
All in all, there isn’t anything “suspicious” in these statements, and it doesn’t have that deceitful corporate tone. The most important thing to note is that the Custodian team won’t be going anywhere. This disarms a lot of speculation and answers the most important question. No, Stellaris development isn’t breaking down and they are not abandoning the game.
Credit: Paradox Interactive
While there were some more extreme opinions, most of the community thinks that this Paradox move is nothing special. Some people are more doubtful than others, but the general consensus on the Paradox Forum and Reddit is that the game is not dead and isn’t going anywhere.
Furthermore, a lot of people are doubtful that this move is not for cost-cutting. The fact is that the studios in Malmö and Umeå were involved in the development of recent Stellaris DLCs and expansions. Also, companies never tend to actually admit if something is for the sake of cutting costs, nobody wants to hear that and it’s just bad PR.
Credit: Paradox Interactive
The most important thing to take from this is that the development of Stellaris won’t be gone in the near future. Paradox closing down studios isn’t inherently that bad, but it’s not something we want to hear. Letting go of this game would be a surprise, considering the fact that Stellaris DLCs generate a lot of revenue and are relatively easy to make (compared to new games) since they are just adding things to the already vast universe.
It just doesn’t seem logical move to stop the development of a game that has a lot of players, paved roadmaps, and a steady source of income. Our speculation is that maybe the closing studios just didn’t survive the corporate management, which is not ideal, but it’s far from abandoning the game.