Paradox developers clarify treatment of slavery and colonialism in ‘Victoria 3’

“We are not confident we got it right”

The developers behind Victoria 3 have revealed their working philosophy when including controversial historical subjects in their games.

In a recent interview with PCGamesN, the Paradox developers behind Victoria 3 discussed the difficulties in representing time periods authentically. Set in the Victorian era, a major part of the narrative falls on slavery and colonialism, factors which the developers were keen to not leave out.

“We want to represent all of history,” game director Martin Anward explained. “We don’t want to represent just the nice parts of history, or parts that aren’t horrific. We are representing the entire world’s population.

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“So for us to, for instance, write slavery out of the game, would mean that we are effectively writing [out] those people and their experiences, and all of what happened in history”.

The developers went on to explain that the in-game representation has been treated with care, but the Victoria 3 team is open to suggestions on how to better portray it.

“We are not confident we got it right. There are going to be things that are controversial in the game,” he said, “And there might be things that we have misrepresented and we will be learning from that and we will be adjusting going along”.

The team maintains that to ignore these realities would have been disrespectful in itself, and that Victoria 3 portrays slavery as the “horrific institution that it was”.

Victoria 3 was announced at PDXCon, a Paradox Interactive fan event, earlier this week. The game follows up on its 11-year-old predecessor, covering world events through the years 1836 – 1936.

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“Politics, Economy and Diplomacy are the three most important parts of the game,” Anward said during the announcement, “Wars are of course a part of the game (just as they were a part of the Victorian age), but Victoria 3 is not a war game or a game about map painting.”

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