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Crusader Kings 3 gallops onto PCs in 2020

The long-anticipated sequel to grand strategy’s biggest star

Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Crusader Kings 3, the next installment of Paradox Interactive’s grand strategy franchise, is arriving next year on PCs — via Steam and Xbox Game Pass for PC. Paradox shared the news this weekend at its annual PDXCON gathering for fans of the publisher’s game.

Crusader Kings 3 is highlighting cunning, calculating, scheming and all sorts of other Saturday-matinee adjectives as chief components of the player’s drive to build their medieval dynasty. “Stranger than fiction stories leap off the screen as characters plot against you and events push you to extremes,” says a news release.

Crusader Kings 3 will also offer new 3D-rendered character models and “an even more detailed map,” says Paradox. “Crusader Kings 3 is a rich setting for an infinite number of new stories.”

Now celebrating its 15th year, the Crusader Kings franchise has taken a million players through an endlessly rewritten history of Europe in the Middle Ages. The most recent game in the series launched seven years ago — Crusader Kings 2, strictly for personal computers, in 2012. Paradox recently made that title free for everyone via Steam in observance of the PDXCON festivities. So run go get that now.

“Seeing its predecessor explode in popularity was very satisfying, especially considering that user friendliness was never our primary goal,” said game director Henrik Fahraeus, in one of the most remarkably candid press release quotes I’ve ever seen. “Now we have a chance to address an even larger audience.”

The next level of puzzles.

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