Paradox Interactive, the publisher of games such as Stellaris and Crusader Kings II, announced that they are purchasing Harebrained Schemes to expand their PC gaming portfolio. Harebrained Schemes is an American developer behind games such as Shadowrun and BattleTech, with the latter published by Paradox, which ignited their interest in the developer.
After the acquisition, Harebrained will be a Paradox studio. However, Paradox ensured that Harebrained Schemes “will continue to operate with its own internal management and creative teams, designing and developing the games that have earned them their outstanding reputation.” Furthermore, Paradox Interactive explained that Harebrained will be able to access the publisher’s “business and distribution expertise, financial support, and an extended colleague network of strategy enthusiasts.”
Although nothing is final yet, the acquisition is expected to go smoothly. Before Paradox, Harebrained crowdfunded Shadow Returns, Shadowrun: Hong Kong, and BattleTech via Kickstarter. In a press release, Harebrained CEO Jordan Weisman said that:
“We felt that HBS needed to team up with a company that could provide us the financial stability and marketing expertise that would allow us to focus on what we love doing - making great games and stories.”
Both Harebrained Studios and Paradox Interactive agreed that the former will still be an independent studio concerning management and creative teams and the latter will manage things outside of direct game development such as marketing, PR, and distribution. Of course, in the end, the publisher will still have the final say on new projects the studio can develop.