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Crusader Kings 3's Royal Court expansion delayed to 2022

Dev not "entirely satisfied" with progress.

Paradox has delayed Crusader Kings 3's Royal Court expansion to 2022. It was due out later this year.

The developer said it was not "entirely satisfied" with the progress made on the expansion.

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"This year has been a long and interesting one, to be certain, but we are here all together to make sure that our community gets the product that we have all been waiting for and deserve," Paradox said in a post on Steam.

"Earlier this year, we informed you all that we were working hard to make sure that Royal Court was up to our standards.

"Royal Court is not only the first expansion for CK3, but it will also propose a set of features entirely new to the CK series, including cultural evolution and language. It is very much breaking new ground, and as such, we are experimenting at every turn.

"With that in mind we are not, at the moment, entirely satisfied with Royal Court's progress, especially regarding its stability. There are a number of bugs we really need to iron out, and are taking more time to make sure it is in line with the standards you would expect from us.

"We also understand the frustration that delays cause, but we would like to make sure we are always as forthcoming as possible and that you hear the news directly from us.

"It's a tricky balance between sentiments like 'It will release whenever we finish making sure it is ready' and things like giving exact timelines only to make necessary but upsetting changes to that timeline when we do actually need time to review and make those changes.

"That being said, you can look forward to news about the 2022 release date Soon™!"

The Royal Court is both the name of the expansion and a new hub area being introduced as part of the paid DLC that, alongside its associated mechanics, will be exclusive to emperors and kings who've risen to the peak of their power. It's intended to give high-level players new challenges and tasks to focus on, alongside their usual duties.

Earlier this month, Paradox cancelled "several" unannounced projects so it could focus on its "proven game niches".

This shake-up to Paradox's development slate follows the departure of former Paradox CEO Ebba Ljungerud in September, and comes after what's been a challenging period for the studio.

This year saw Paradox pull the troubled Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 from its original developer Hardsuit Labs, indefinitely delaying its release out of 2021, and, more worrying still, face accusations it had fostered a culture of bullying and gender discrimination after a union-led employee survey revealed almost half of the 133 participating staff had experienced "mistreatment", with the issues said to be "worst for women".

Although Paradox pledged to conduct a "thorough audit" of its processes following the report, eyebrows were raised a week later when new Paradox CEO Fredrik Wester publicly admitted to an incident of "inappropriate behaviour" towards another employee during a company conference in 2018. "This was something I immediately and sincerely apologised for in-person the following Monday in a process reviewed by HR," Wester wrote.

Earlier this month, Paradox staff criticised the studio's "culture of silence" in a new, detailed report by Eurogamer and Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet.

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