PC Gamer
Paradox Interactive
Recently, at E3, we got the chance to catch up with the CEO of Paradox Interactive, Fredrik Wester to discuss the company's recent success with Magicka, Mount and Blade and King Arthur. Wester revealed that 90% of Paradox' revenue is now made through digital distribution sales. He describes the company's lack of reliance on retail as "a release," saying that store chains have "not been good for the creative part of the industry."

Wester told us that "this year we’re close to ninety percent of our revenue being digital. Retail sales are like a bonus for us now. We don’t really need retailers any more and that is a release because retailers have not been good for the industry. They’ve not been good for the creative part of the industry, for finding new cool games."

"People complain to publishers that there are only sequels on the market, but that’s because retailers want to see sequels, because they can do their chart diagrams for how things sell and things like that. So one of the things preventing more creative gaming has been the retail challenge."

"I can only say this now because we’re not depending on them, so it’s really relieving to be able to say that."

Wester told us that Steam is Paradox' main partner, followed by Gamersgate. Paradox has recently had big success with Magicka, which as sold more than 600,000 copies since release, and is set to hit a million sales before the end of the year. The entire Paradox catalogue is currently enjoying a 90% as part of the Steam summer sale. You can grab the lot for $74.99 / £55.
Product Update - Valve
  • Six new Steam achievements...
  • Several new operations added for use by modders.
  • Sarranid Archer and Sarranid Master Archer no longer have jarids.
  • Mounted units cannot spawn on walls
  • 3d mouse on map window for 3dvision;
  • 3d vision convergence has been decreased;
  • ti_on_agent_hit position is moved down a bit in order to give the correct damage value, and it now uses the trigger result as the dealt damage if it is greater than or equal to zero.
  • mayor_politics_assess_realm dialog having no options after all factions are defeated bug is fixed.
  • party_count_members_with_full_health no longer counts player as a regular troop. needs some testing on battles and sieges.
  • qst_troublesome_bandits no longer gives reputation penalty when it is aborted due to someone else destroying the party.
  • Shield no longer gets damaged when the attack is chamber blocked.
  • process_text now encodes for url if requested. therefore url strings will only encode the tokens like {s0} {s1} etc for url.
  • show_item_details_with_modifier operation is added for showing item details which have modifiers (unlike the original operation).
  • several wrong operation condition checks are corrected.
  • Font is now reloaded when player switches to a new module without closing the application.
  • module_version, compatible_module_version, compatible_savegame_module_version keys are added to module.ini
  • become_knocked_down works for mounted agents too (but they don't get knocked down with an animation, they just continue fighting).
  • healing of wounded troops of parties are now related to wounded troop ratio in that party and 50% slower also it is a bit related to campaign ai.
  • overlay_set_container_overlay, agent_get_ammo_for_slot, scene_prop_set_prune_time operations are added
  • agent_unequip_item and agent_equip_item operations now have new parameters
  • ti_on_player_exit trigger is added
  • mission_object_prune_time is added as a key to module.ini
  • savegame checksum calculation no longer requires megabytes of memory (which causes the CTDs during saves).
  • restore module objects is removed from ctrl + m
  • equipping unequipping agents after they are spawned had several visual bugs. they are all fixed.
  • Crash when exiting dedicated server (bugid:3431) fixed;
  • new sound system is redone, and working fine under both old and new versions
  • ti_on_scene_prop_hit: set_trigger_result sets the damage dealt, just like the new feature for ti_on_agent_hit.
  • scene_prop_set_cur_hit_points is added
  • agent_equip_item and agent_unequip_item bugs are fixed (minor)
  • Various minor item stat fixes
  • Rhodok infantry troops dont have battle forks and military sycthes anymore
  • Long axes and great axes now have proper "unbalance" penalty
  • Minor balance bug .. Rhodok Multiplayer_ai items changed (was clone of nords scout)
  • inventory infinite ammo bug is fixed
  • client side fixes for agent ragdoll effects;
  • dedicated server fixes;
  • tableau fixes for new 3d vision drivers
Product Update - Valve
  • Steam Achievements!
  • New Multiplayer Mode: Captain Co-op -Play cooperatively against successive waves of bots.
  • New Multiplayer Mode: Captain Battle -Display your skill as commander against human enemies.
  • New Lighting setups for multiplayer scenes.
  • Refinements to Single Player balance, horses, melee, and armor stats.
  • Three New Multiplayer Maps
  • Various Bug Fixes and Improvements
Product Update - Valve
  • Firearms have been generally rebalanced. Muskets are deadlier. Pistols are less accurate but faster.
  • Pistols and Muskets are now held by their barrels when used in melee mode.
  • Muskets have new thrust and swing animations for being used in melee where they are used to bash the enemy with the stock.
  • Melee weapons have been rebalanced in general and they are now faster.
  • Motion blur effect has been removed from some weapons.
  • Horses have been made slightly faster and expensşve ones now have higher charge rating.
  • Characters can now crouch. The default key is 'z'.
  • Order menus redesigned.
  • New orders for volley fire.
  • New orders for specifying formation depth (between 1 and 5)
  • Damage type of Ranged Weapons is now determined by the type of ammunition rather than the weapon itself. Basic arrows for bows do cutting damage but it is possible to buy more advanced ones with piercing damage.
  • New sounds and particle systems for musket shots bullet hits and ricochets.
  • Pikes can now be thrusted from an overhead stance so they no longer have a single type of attack.
  • If a character is interrupted while reloading a musket (by being hit) the reloading action is now resumed from where it was left off.
  • Switching to pistols is now quicker whereas switching to muskets has been made slower.
  • Grenade damage alternative is changed so as to account for obstructions.
  • Female face textures retouched slıghtly.

  • Changed the fog and atmosphere settings in some multiplayer maps.
  • Multiplayer Captain modes have received an overhaul. Bots can now be purchased individually through a seperate overlay.
  • Network code improved and sends less events.
  • Multiplayer character stats have been revamped. Infantry units now run much faster and muskeeters run a bit faster as well. Muskeeters can reload and fire ranged weapons much more effectively.

Single Player:
  • Added starting option to play the game with a female character. All armor pieces have been given proper morphs when equipped by female characters.
  • All dialog has been readjusted for accounting for female player characters.
  • Renamed the faction "Polish Republic" to "Polish Commonwealth"
  • Battlefield AI enhanced and can give the new volley fire orders.
  • New Village Elder Quests.
  • New and more realistic Caravan Trading System. Caravans can now move unescorted. Goods are now removed when transported by a caravan.
  • Production System rebalanced.
  • Mercenary Wages and Hiring costs changed.
  • You can now pay off all looters and bandits.
  • Looter and Bandit party size readjusted.
  • You can no longer kick during tavern fights.
  • Grenades in single player are now much cheaper but they no longer auto-replenish.
  • Ranged weapons and ammunition don't replenish anymore when the baggage chest is accessed.
  • Crimean Horsemen wages are only 33% more expensive (66% for other factions)

Bug Fixes:
  • Find bandit camp near ZAMOSHYE village
  • No loot screen after defeating Enemy Wagoncamp
  • King Jan Kasimir gets captured and disappears permanently
  • Items shown as good trading opportunities are not available in marketplace
  • Fixed bug when player leaves Polish faction during "Black Mace" quest.
  • Paid-off Deserters sometimes continue to pursue the player
  • Castles/villages/towns still yours after leaving a factions
  • Grenades hurt outside of duels on duel servers
  • Formation lines forming at an angle
  • horses can not be looted
  • Cannot accept village elder quests
  • Fire at Will doesn't take effect for all troops immediately and sometimes results in putting all weapons away.
  • Trade Permit cost is off
  • Cannot capture/loot Forager groups
  • Hand-craft Mace is not a mace
  • Money in merchant guild cannot be withdrawn if it exceed 10000 thalers.
  • Cannot capture captured city
  • No reinforcements on wagenburg battles
  • Ransom the Girl City Quest cannot be finished if target town is besieged.
  • The game sometimes creates a copy of player character in the castle.
  • warlords captured in battle by patrols and never got released!
  • Fixed siege door abuse in some multiplayer maps.
  • Fixed ladder placements in many maps.
  • Navigation meshes in lots of maps fixed.
  • Bug fix: >Lords of Kingdoms easily gather armies even just after being defeated
  • Double barreled pistols' reload animation bug is fixed
  • grenades that cause damage to neutrals is fixed. in addition to that, any damage that is less than 10 will no longer make a fall animation.
  • Fixed towns where "Don cossacks" could be hired
  • Fixed typo in trade permit cost
  • Fixed prisoners skill bonus to 10 per lvl

A First Stab at the World's Premiere Medieval Shanking SimulatorI've been meaning to take a stab at free-form medieval RPG series Mount & Blade for years. YEARS. So it thrills me to say that I'm currently having an incredible time with Mount & Blade: With Fire & Sword, the latest game in the series which came out last week.

Join me for the adventures of Captain Smith, the worst mercenary leader to ever roam Eastern Europe.

The Mount & Blade games are all about getting involved in the warfare and violent politics of medieval Europe in a very real way. The end game sees you leading your grubby band forth to siege cities, instigate rebellions, and even work with rightful (or pretend) heirs to out various kings and leaders to slot your boss in their place.

To start with, though, you're placed at the very bottom of the ladder. You are a dude with a shirt and a sword. And I'm going even lower.

For starters, there's an option in the menu, on by default, which causes your hero to take half damage in combat. I quickly correct that. Also, in character creation, I shunt all of my points into Intelligence and Charisma rather than Strength and Agility. I want to see just how bad a fighter I can take to the top.

If I listen very closely, I think I can hear the game laughing in my face.

As for looks, I spend some time wondering whether to give Captain Smith a haircut that looks like the world's most terrifying leech...

... but eventually settle for something more scholarly. This, my friends, is the man who will come to be feared throughout Eastern Europe, where Fire & Sword is set. Men will learn to tremble under his milky gaze.

The game's tutorial kicks off with your character arriving in a town beset by looters. A decrepid man wearing a dressing gown comes jogging up and starts beating Captain Smith like a carpet.

A dreadful turn of events! This is NO WAY TO TREAT A HERO and will not be tolerated. I begin waving my sword around in semaphore until the elderly criminal accidentally gets in the way of it and concertinas to the ground. A noble kill!

Down the road a band of French "adventurers" are preparing for an assault by even more looters, and ask for my aid.

This is going to be messy. Or is it? Captain Smith has a plan.

Once the melee begins, I boldly step away and circle round to the rear, where I can poke holes in the looters from behind, not unlike a man trying to hit a light switch with a broom, but I emerge from the fight unscathed. I am a man of wit and foresight, it is true.

A First Stab at the World's Premiere Medieval Shanking SimulatorModest, too! I am destined for greatness. Is there somewhere I have to register for a castle? Because that should happen.

A First Stab at the World's Premiere Medieval Shanking SimulatorThe Frenchmen hand me a pistol and instruct me to shoot a lock off the stable door, despite the fact we're meant to be protecting the town from looters. Nevermind.

A First Stab at the World's Premiere Medieval Shanking SimulatorNow, firearms is actually what I put all of my (few) weapon skillpoints into during character creation. They're a new feature of Fire & Sword. "Watch this!" I think to myself, take aim and… miss.

With my new bloodstained French friends watching, I painstakingly reload the gun (it takes some eight seconds) and fire again. And miss again. For my third shot I walk right up to the padlock and shoot the lock off at point blank range.

This does not bode well.

The Frenchmen and I commandeer ourselves a horse each, ride out and slay the rest of the looters in a battle across a shallow river that probably would have looked really cinematic had I not been off to the side, taking potshots with my pistol. I think I hit somebody at one point but it's hard to tell because when I'm holding down the aim button and my screenshot button at the same time I expand the game's console, unintentionally blinding and paralysing myself.

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Oddly, there doesn't seem to be an option to join up with the Frenchmen after the battle. Pfft! As if I would have asked them, if, you know, it had been an option. Sorry lads, but I've got this whole manifest destiny thing to take care of. The Frenchmen do, however, give me some tips, and I listen carefully. Apparently this whole region is rife with conflict between the Moscovites, the Polish, the Crimean somethingorother, the Swedish and somebody else. They also tell me that I might find work in the nearby town of Zamoshye, and the nearby castle of somethingsomething.

I bid them farewell and ride off on my stolen horse, impatient to become a legend.

The queasy-looking village elder of Zamoshye has a couple of things a man of future wealth and taste such as myself might help him with. First, the Mayor of the nearby castle of somethingsomething is taxing his village too much, and someone must persuade him to go easy on the peasants. Second, there are some bandits in the forest that need taking care of. No problem, guy, I tell him. This? This is easy. This is no problem.

A First Stab at the World's Premiere Medieval Shanking SimulatorMy plans are threefold- (1) ride to the castle and have a word with the mayor, (2) hire some mercenaries while I'm there with my small pouch of change, and (3) profit.

(1) goes wrong because it turns out the "mayor" will not be persuaded, thanks to my persuasion skill of 2. I elect to pay off the villagers' taxes myself, in secret.

(2) goes wrong because I no longer have enough money to hire a large amount of dudes. I only have enough to hire five bearded drunks who call themselves "pikemen".

A First Stab at the World's Premiere Medieval Shanking Simulator(3) goes wrong because when I return to the mayor he gives me 100 thaler as a reward for getting the taxes lowered. I paid the mayor 200 thaler to make it happen.

A First Stab at the World's Premiere Medieval Shanking SimulatorStill, early days yet! I head into the forest to find the bandits. And I find them!

A First Stab at the World's Premiere Medieval Shanking SimulatorOof, six of us versus six bandits. This one could be close… but you don't go down in history for not taking risks, says Captain Smith. CHAARGE!

This time around I do an excellent job of fighting, almost certainly killing a man. Basically with my pikemen in the fray, I'm free to sit high on my horse and oversee the proceedings like Hell's own tennis umpire, and instead of calling shots I'm taking shots. BANG! Reloadreloadreloadreload BANG! Miss! Swear. Reloadreloadreloadreload

The final tally when the smoke clears is six dead bandits and three dead pikemen. My first proper battle is a success. Nothing for it but to ride back to Zamoshye and collect my reward in oh wait shit hang on what


About two hours into the six hour ride back to Zamoshye my party is ambushed by bandits. Specifically, the "Zamoshye Bandits" who I was sent to get rid off. I'm left wondering who in the shit I just ordered my men to kill.

The Zamoshye bandits ask for money. I have none. I say this hoping my men don't overhear as it's payday in a week.

Three of us versus seven bandits. This one could be close… but you don't go down in history for not taking risks, command Captain Smith. CHAARG– OH JESUS MY NECK

I haven't even loosed my first pistol shot when one of the Zamoshye bandits, who it turns out are marginally better equipped than the paupers I just brutalised, pegs me in the chest with a musket shot. Captain Smith goes tumbling off his horse like a sack of potatoes.

…my… my men… you must fight… for… me.. you don't go down in history… for… oh, balls.

A First Stab at the World's Premiere Medieval Shanking Simulator Oh, this can't be good.

Quintin Smith is a writer for Rock Paper Shotgun, one of the world's best sites for PC gaming news. Quintin wasn't very good at his early career as a globe-trotting hobo (or "globo"), and has since limited himself to the domestic journeys of videogames. Follow him on Twitter.

Republished with permission.

Product Update - Valve
Updates to Mount&Blade: With Fire & Sword have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

  • Added German Language
Product Update - Valve
Updates to Mount&Blade: With Fire & Sword have been released. The updates will be applied automatically when your Steam client is restarted. The major changes include:

  • Troops can now upgrade properly.
  • Fixed bug with grenades exploding at wrong location.
  • Squad size limitation bug is fixed for multiplayer.
  • An update is made for preventing graphics glitch on some ATI cards.
  • Several text corrections for all languages.
  • Scene fixes mainly on the custom battles and village/town scenes.
  • Fixed a quest bug with persuading Obuhovich
  • AI behavior changed so that muskeeter troops can now close up on the enemy properly
  • Product Release - Valve
    With Fire & Sword, the standalone expansion for Mount & Blade, is now available on Steam!

    Announcement - Valve
    Mount & Blade With Fire & Sword is now available for pre-purchase on Steam! Buy it now and get 10% off the purchase price in addition to two in game TF2 hats.

    Never played Mount & Blade? The Mount & Blade Complete Pack is on sale for 60% off during our Weekend Deal!

    PC Gamer

    Free tunes! Another game soundtrack has been released for download, this time for the standalone Mount & Blade expansion With Fire and Sword, which features music by Jesse Hopkins and Pyotr Salnikov. (The download also includes Hopkins' Mount & Blade: Warband soundtrack.) You can snag it here. With track names such as "Peaceful Travels" and "Eastern Soul," it's a little more low-key than, say, Bulletstorm's all-action-all-the-time tone, and it might make some decent background music for that MMO whose looping soundtrack you're bored silly of.

    Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sword comes out May 3.