2015 was a very eventful year with a number of new game releases and successful expansions that drove record growth, high margin and strong cash flow.
2015 was a very eventful year with a number of new game releases and successful expansions that drove record growth, high margin and strong cash flow. With a broad gaming portfolio, a strengthened organization with a continued focus on development and releases, and a strong balance sheet, the company is well positioned for the future.
Company net revenues increased 241% to 604 MSEK and operating profit increased 442% to 242 MSEK corresponding to an operating margin of 40%, up from 25% the year before. Liquid funds and short-term investments amounted to 160 MSEK at the end of the year.
The growth during the year was primarily driven by strong releases of new games, such as Cities: Skylines and Pillars of Eternity, and successful expansions of existing games, such as Europa Universalis IV and Crusader Kings II. The company also deliberately postponed certain releases from 2014 into 2015 to increase quality, which partly explains the exceptional growth rate. To cope with the strong portfolio expansion, the organisation has strengthened significantly and the number of employees has increased by more than 100% over the last two years.
“We have delivered profitable growth over a decade and at the same time broadened our portfolio within our niche. Today we have more than 75 games in our portfolio and more than 1 million “gamers” play a Paradox game each month. In addition, we have 4.8 million registered users. Our strength is that we combine a strong IP portfolio, in which we predominantly own the brands, with loyal “gamers” and a stable financial position. We are well positioned for the future and can now really start to look at expanding our business towards new platforms other than PC, and new geographical markets outside Europe and North America,” said Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive.
Key financial data for fiscal year 2015
Net revenues for 2015 were 604.0 MSEK (177.0 MSEK), an increase of 241%. The revenue growth is mainly driven by the new game releases Cities: Skylines and Pillars of Eternity. The internally developed titles Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings also contributed to the growth.
Operating profit was 214.7 MSEK (44.6 MSEK). Profit before taxes was 242.0 MSEK (43.7 MSEK), and profit after taxes was 188.8 MSEK (33.6 MSEK).
Cash flow from operations was 294.8 MSEK (64.7 MSEK) and cash flow from investments was -153.6 MSEK (-57.0 MSEK).
Liquid funds and short-term investments at the end of the year amounted to 50.2 MSEK (21.3 MSEK) as well as 109.7 MSEK (29.3 MSEK).
Key events during the year
Cities: Skylines sold more than 1 million copies the first month on the digital download platform Steam. During the same time frame, over 33,000 user modifications were created on the same platform. The game has been developed by the development partner Colossal Order and is their third game that has been developed in cooperation with Paradox Interactive.
Pillars of Eternity started as a Kickstarter campaign from roleplaying studio Obsidian Entertainment and was later signed by Paradox Interactive’s publishing arm. The game rapidly became a favorite among critics (and gamers) and is Paradox’s highest-ranked game (on MetaCritic) coming from an external developer.
Europa Universalis IV released three expansions during the year. The expansions for strategy titles have a high attachment rate, meaning the number of players who have the basic game also purchased the expansions, thereby increasing the product’s life cycle over several years.
Crusader Kings II, initially released in 2012, had an expansion in 2015. In the beginning of the year the initial game passed one million sold units.
At the end of October, Paradox Interactive moved into new locations at Västgötagatan. The new facilities of 3,300 sq. m have been developed to fit the company’s current needs as well as needs for the next 3-5 years.
During 2015, a decision was made to move the Free-2-Play game Wizard Wars from active development to legacy, i.e. the game is playable but no more content development will be done. As a result, the studio Paradox North was closed down and the employees were moved to Paradox Development Studio.
During 2015, a lower need for graphical resources, short and long term, was identified which led to a shortage of work. The decision was made to close down Paradox South, a studio in Skövde that focused on creating graphics for internally developed titles.
In November, Paradox Interactive announced the acquisition of White Wolf Publishing and their complete brand portfolio from the former owners, CCP. The new subsidiary will be licensing the White Wolf brands, including existing products within board games, collectible card games, PC games and books. The subsidiary operates as an independent unit.
At the end of the year, a process to recruit a new board member was initiated. Through advertising on the Paradox career page, the discussion forum Reddit, social media and a live stream, the Paradox community and other interested parties were invited to suggest candidates and suitable questions to the future board member. The appointment was made at the end of the period.
Game releases 2015
Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado 26 Feb (Expansion) PC, Mac, Linux
Cities: Skylines 10 March (New game) PC, Mac, Linux
Pillars of Eternity 26 March (New game) PC, Mac, Linux
Knights of Pen & Paper 2 13 May (New game) iOS, Android
Magicka 2 26 May (New game) PS4, PC, Mac, Linux
Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense 9 June (Expansion) PC, Mac, Linux
Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords 14 July (Expansion) PC, Mac, Linux
Pillars of Eternity: The White March Part 1 25 Aug. (Expansion) PC, Mac, Linux
Magicka 2: Cardinal Points 15 Sept. (Expansion) PS4, PC, Mac, Linux
Cities: Skylines After Dark 24 Sept. (Expansion) PC, Mac, Linux
Knights of Pen & Paper 2 20 Oct. (New platform) PC, Mac, Linux
Europa Universalis IV: The Cossacks 1 Dec. (Expansion) PC, Mac, Linux
Magicka 2: Ice, Death and Fury 15 Dec. (Expansion) PS4, PC, Mac, Linux
For more information, please contact:
Andras Vajlok, CFO Paradox Interactive AB Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fredrik Wester, CEO & President, Paradox Interactive AB. Email: email@example.com
About Paradox Interactive
The Paradox Interactive group today includes publishing of PC games, music and books for their own brands, own development of PC games and licencing of White Wolf’s brands. The publishing operation publishes both internally developed titles as well as titles developed by independent studios. The internal development under Paradox Development Studios develops primarily strategy games. The game portfolio today includes of more than 75 titles and Paradox Interactive owns the most important of the brands, such as Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, Crusader Kings, Cities: Skylines and Magicka. From the start over ten years ago, the company has sold its games all over the world, initially through physical distribution using partners, but from 2006 digitally using its own publishing arm. The key development platform is PC, but during 2015 the company has released games on PS4 and mobile platforms as well. The largest markets today include US, UK, France, Russia and Scandinavia. Today one million gamers play a Paradox game each month and the number of Paradox users is approaching 5 million.