Paradox acquires Battletech and Shadowrun developer Harebrained

Strategy specialist Paradox Interactive has increased the size of its internal stable of developers by agreeing to acquire Harebrained Schemes. The Seattle developer being best known for its games based on the Shadowrun and Battletech franchises.

The move comes after Paradox and Harebrained did a deal last year to bring the kickstarted Battletech game to market with Paradox as publisher. The turn-based game fitting well alongside Paradox’s ‘grand strategy’ titles.

As well as its own inhouse development team, Paradox acquired Age of Wonders developer Triumph studios last year, and pen-and-paper RPG publisher White Wolf back in 2015. It also has a strong relationship with Cities: Skylines developer Colossal Order.

The growing publisher was floated back in 2016 and has seen strong growth since. This acquisition looks to be a strong move, and Paradox (having seen Harebrained in action during the Battletech launch) will have a very good idea of what they’ve bought.

“Harebrained Schemes have proven themselves as a world-class studio with a very talented team within a genre where Paradox wants to be present,” said Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive. “In addition, we really like the studio, the people who run it, and their games; these are all absolute hard criteria for us in any acquisition. Our recent successful launch of Battletech, our first project together, has been a fantastic collaboration, but the possibilities of what we can do together in the long term now that we’ve joined forces – that’s what has us truly excited.”

Harebrained Schemes was founded in 2011 by Jordan Weisman (CEO) and Mitch Gitelman (president). The former being responsible for the creation of many of FASA biggest franchises, including Battletech (Mechwarrior) and Shadowrun, as well as Crimson Skies.

“Mitch and I started Harebrained to create the kind of story-rich tactical games we loved,” said Weisman, "As the scale of our games has grown and the marketplace has gotten extremely noisy 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 focus on what we love doing – making great games and stories.”

Gitelman added, “Our experience working with Paradox on Battletech was the best of our careers and proved to us that this was a company we would be proud to be a part of. What’s more, we’ve gotten to experience the incredible audience that Paradox has firsthand: the fans who we met at PDXCON in May after having launched our game were so full of enthusiasm and appreciation. We share a deep respect for our audiences, for healthy and collaborative teams, and for the creative process itself – the fit just works.”

And it certainly looks to, with Paradox’s publishing knowhow and big community of fans looking a great match for Harebrained’s impressive IP lineup.

About Seth Barton

Seth Barton is the editor of MCV – which covers every aspect of the industry: development, publishing, marketing and much more. Before that Seth toiled in games retail at Electronics Boutique, studied film at university, published console and PC games for the BBC, and spent many years working in tech journalism. Living in South East London, he divides his little free time between board games, video games, beer and family. You can find him tweeting @sethbarton1.

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