May 11, 2021

Interim report January - March 2021

First quarter 2021

  • Revenues amounted to MSEK 364.5 (MSEK 400.4), a decrease by 9% compared to the same period last year.

  • Operating profit amounted to MSEK 92.5 (MSEK 165.9), a decrease by 44 %.

  • Profit after financial items amounted to MSEK 91.6 (MSEK 164.7), and profit after tax amounted to MSEK 76.7 (MSEK 128.0).

  • Cash flow from operating activities amounted to MSEK 145.7 (MSEK 247.7), and cash flow from investing activities amounted to MSEK -189.2 (MSEK -166.4).

  • By the end of the period cash amounted to MSEK 717.6 (MSEK 625.1). 

  • Earnings per share amounted to SEK 0.72 (1.21) after dilution.

  • Revenues in the quarter are mainly attributable to Cities: Skylines, Crusader Kings III, Europa Universalis IV, Hearts of Iron IV and Stellaris.

Important events in the first quarter 2021 

  • New downloadable content for games was released during the period; Going Green for Prison Architect, Lithoids species pack and Megacorp for Stellaris:Console Edition, Heirs of Alexander for Imperator: Rome and Northern Lords for Crusader Kings III.

  • The group’s employees continue to work from home to reduce the spread of Covid -19.

Comments from the CEO

With increased focus on our core games

At Paradox, we have gradually created a portfolio of core games which, through many years and iterations, have grown popular, created loyal player bases and built strong brands. We have also built up significant internal expertise around these games in terms of game development, marketing and other publishing activities. This means that we can develop and release both expansions to the existing games and new sequels to the games with relatively low risk and often high returns. These popular and long-lived games form the basis of our business and generate, quarter after quarter, the vast majority of Paradox’s player activity, revenue and profits.

In recent years, the core games have consisted of Europa Universalis, Crusader Kings, Stellaris, Hearts of Iron and Cities: Skylines. We also have several franchises in our portfolio of management and strategy games that have great opportunities to establish themselves as core games, such as Surviving Mars, Age of Wonders, and Prison Architect. At the other end of our portfolio, we have not-yet-released games based on new brands that are partly outside our current core areas. The development of these games is often associated with higher risk, but when they become successful, they attract new players and expand our core areas. For us, it is therefore important to have a good balance between building on our existing core games with new content and sequels,and at the same time growing the portfolio with new games. We have recently adjusted the weighting with the result that we invest a larger part of our investments and resources in the core areas of strategy and management games. This means, for example, that we continue to develop Surviving Mars and could during the first quarter of the year announce that new content is being built by our partner studio Abstraction Games, with several content releases planned for the coming year. Surviving Mars recently reached five million unique players and we see great opportunities for the game to establish itself as part of our core portfolio. To further increase our focus, we also chose during the quarter to cancel further development of two not-yet-announced games, developed by external studios.

Part of the increased focus on our core games is about securing the velocity with which we release new content for the games. The balance between publishing content as fast as our players want and keeping high quality in what we produce is difficult and important, and we continue to put a lot of time and effort into constantly getting better. One part of this focus is to increase the number of people and studios that build our grand strategy games. The work began in 2020 when our studios in both Malmö and Umeå switched to start developing content for our grand strategy games at the same time as we established a new studio in Barcelona - Paradox Tinto - with the same purpose. Over the years, we will be able to release more and at the same time ensure high quality of our expansions.

Revenue during the quarter decreased by 9% and profit before tax decreased by 44%, compared to the first quarter of 2020. For the last twelve months, revenue increased by 21% while profit before tax decreased by 2%, compared with a year earlier. Since a large part of our revenue is in USD and other foreign currencies, our revenue and result are affected by changes in exchange rates. The USD / SEK exchange rate has decreased by 13% from the first quarter of 2020 to the first quarter of this year, which has had a significant negative impact on the quarter's revenue. We are not satisfied with the quarter. Sometimes there are periods with fewer and smaller game and expansion releases - but we can do better than this and our ambitions are higher.

In February, we participated in the Steam Lunar New Year Sale which contributed to increased sales of our games, not least in China. The Chinese market has gradually increased in importance for us and during the first quarter of the year it was our second largest market after the USA in terms of sales.

For many reasons, I am glad that the vaccination against Covid-19 is in full swing. For us at Paradox, this means that we will be able to start going back to the offices in all countries in the not too distant future. Although player activity and growth have been strong during the pandemic, we have, despite great efforts from all our staff and partners, lost efficiency in certain areas due to working from home and I therefore look forward to meeting all colleagues in the offices again soon.

Next week, May 21-23, our annual PDXCON will take place, this time as a completely digital event, PDXCON Remixed. I hope to see as many of you as possible there!

Ebba Ljungerud, CEO

Presentation of report

Ebba Ljungerud and Alexander Bricca will host a live stream to answer report and financial related questions on our Twitch channel on May 11 at 12:00 PM CET Submit your questions before by e-mailing them to or directly in the Twitch chat. The Twitch chat is open for anyone to view but to post comments or questions you will need to create an account.

Recorded version of the presentation

If you missed the presentation you can find a recording of the live stream here:

2021 Q1 - Live stream

Denna information är sådan som Paradox Interactive AB är skyldigt att offentliggöra enligt EU:s marknadsmissbruksförordning (EU nr 596/2014). Informationen lämnades, genom angiven kontaktpersons försorg, för offentliggörande 2021-05-11 08:00 CET

For additional information, please contact:

Ebba Ljungerud, CEO Paradox Interactive

Alexander Bricca, CFO Paradox Interactive


Phone: +4670-355 54 18