Society simulator Victoria 3 announced at PDX Con 2021, coming to Xbox Game Pass for PC

Victoria 3 Key Art
Victoria 3 Key Art (Image credit: Paradox Interactive)

What you need to know

  • Paradox Interactive held their own game event called PDX Con to stage a ton of new game announcements and updates.
  • The biggest announcement of the show was the reveal of Victoria 3, a long-dormant grand strategy game franchise returning to PC.
  • Victoria 3 is a society simulator that lets players dive deep into the management of economics and politics in a realistic world.
  • The extremely ambitious grand strategy game is heading to PC at some point in the future, and will come to Xbox Game Pass for PC.

Paradox Interactive is having a productive day with their PDX Con 2021 digital game event. A ton of stuff is being announced today, but of course Paradox Interactive had to have one huge announcement stashed up its sleeve. The headliner at this year's PDX Con is none other than the valiant return of the long-dormant Victoria grand strategy series. That's right, Victoria 3 is official, and brings with it all the modernizations and improvements that over a decade-long hiatus brings to gaming. Fans of Paradox Interactive's other genre-leading grand strategy games will definitely want to keep an eye out for this one.

Victoria 3 is an in-depth society simulator, which means it takes a different approach from other Paradox grand strategy games like the excellent Crusader Kings 3. Rather than focus on war and bloodlines, Victoria 3 is all about managing a country's economics and politics. Control your government's policies and laws, and micromanage to your heart's content all the way down to individual people. Victoria 3 is setting out to be one of the most ambitious grand strategy games ever, and it just might deliver.

Some of the features of Victoria 3 include:

  • An accurate world evolving through a century. Victoria 3 is set during a quickly evolving world between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with realistic borders and map evolution and even accurate population growth.
  • Play as anyone. Victoria 3 allows you to play as over 100 different societies, letting you play however you want. Societies are divided between minor, major, and great powers, and every jump in power massively changes the way the game plays out for you. Do you want to play as a powerful empire with a huge military and lots of influence? Or would you rather carefully manage a smaller country's economy and relationships?
  • Realistic populations. The people in Victoria 3's world are more than a mass of numbers, with even individual people having identities, ideologies, political affiliations, and varying amounts of influence. People are divided into ever-changing and evolving population and interest groups, which can have massive effects on your government's power and the health of your country.
  • Advanced economics. To help elevate your country to the greatest it can be, you'll need to monitor your economy carefully. Imports, exports, taxes, and more all contribute to how powerful your country can be. You can ever control the economics for single buildings in neighborhoods for ultimate control.
  • Diplomacy and politics. Internal politics will be a constant battle for control between varying groups of power, and you'll have to constantly manage the state of your country as you drive it in the direction you desire. External diplomacy will allow you to negotiate with other countries without resorting to war in a complex and fully-fledged diplomacy system.
  • Industry and science. It's not enough to simply maintain your country's health - you also have to help it grow. Guide your country through the industrial revolution by research new technologies, ideologies, and more. Be careful, though, new ideas can be dangerous in the right hands.
  • And so much more. I've barely scratched the surface of everything Victoria 3 entails. Like one expects from a grand strategy game, Victoria 3 will let you dive as deep as you want with severe levels of micromanaging or play it casually and let the dice fall where they may.

Victoria 3 is a daunting game, to say the least, with a sheer number of interlocking and intermingling systems giving players unyielding control over an incredibly realistic world - but not without a variety of obstacles and challenges to overcome. The most interesting part of Victoria 3 is that it does everything it can to avoid war, and actively encourages players to turn to diplomacy and negotiating to get their way before resorting to bloodshed.

Victoria 3 does not have a release date at this time, and is likely not too close to being finished. When it is complete, however, Victoria 3 will be a PC-only game releasing on Steam, the Paradox Store, and the Microsoft Store. Interestingly, it seems that Victoria 3 will join Crusader Kings 3 and launch on Xbox Game Pass for PC. Since grand strategy games can often be intimidating to newcomers to the genre, Victoria 3's inclusion in Xbox Game Pass makes it far more accessible.

If Victoria 3 successfully balances the wide number of systems in its incredibly complicated world, it could easily become one of the best PC games around. If you want to see more of Victoria 3, you can see some screenshots below. Also, make sure you don't miss anything by checking our guide to everything announced at PDX Con 2021.

Zachary Boddy
Staff Writer

Zachary Boddy (They / Them) is a Staff Writer for Windows Central, primarily focused on covering the latest news in tech and gaming, the best Xbox and PC games, and the most interesting Windows and Xbox hardware. They have been gaming and writing for most of their life starting with the original Xbox, and started out as a freelancer for Windows Central and its sister sites in 2019. Now a full-fledged Staff Writer, Zachary has expanded from only writing about all things Minecraft to covering practically everything on which Windows Central is an expert, especially when it comes to Microsoft. You can find Zachary on Twitter @BoddyZachary.