Indie Insider
Indie Insider
Indie Insider #48 - Fredrik Wester, CEO of Paradox Interactive


Guest: Fredrik Wester, the CEO of video game developer and publishing company Paradox Interactive.

Topics discussed:

  1. What platform should you put your game on, and is console viable for indies?
  2. Fred’s advice to “taking a lot of s**t.”
  3. How to maximize your own productivity, as well as the productivity of your team
  4. The art of transparency with your audience, your partners, and others
  5. Creating pillars of priority and ideals that your game should be built around


Hey Insiders,

We’re ramping up to our 50th episode special with some big name guests, and it is my extreme pleasure to share with you all my interview with Fredrik Wester this week. Fredrik Wester is the CEO of Paradox Interactive, a large and successful company behind games such as Cities: Skylines, Stellaris, Europa Universalis, and Hearts of Iron.

Perhaps my favorite takeaway from this interview is Fred’s idea regarding pillars. He told me that Paradox has six pillars that all of their games must be built around in order to meet the Paradox standard. This helps keep games (and the teams working on them) guided and unified. It keeps scope in check as well – everything has to meet those pillars before making it into the game. It’s an idea I like quite a bit, and one you’ll hear again in next week’s episode with Craig, the Design Director of Blizzard Entertainment.

This is something that I feel can be applied to any aspect of your life. I often find myself struggling with decisions, whether it’s regarding this podcast or my personal life. It can be difficult to decide what the right thing is to do, but having pillars of priority helps. Does this decision reflect my pillar of respect? Does this mechanic in my game reflect my pillar of accessible gameplay? Does this guest on the podcast reflect my pillar of quality?

We still won’t get everything right, and it’s okay to make mistakes. But defining the pillars of priority that shape our lives can only help. If you end up coming up with some good pillars and feel like sharing, shoot them to me in an email: [email protected]. And good luck!

– Logan Schultz, Indie Insider Host

P.S. Please join us in 2 weeks for our 50th episode special, featuring Nolan Bushnell, giveaways, and more!

Have thoughts or questions? Want to be on the show? Email us: [email protected].

Indie Insider, presented by Black Shell M​edia, is the podcast that dives into the independent video game scene by speaking with indie developers, publishers, and industry professionals about their projects, stories, and thoughts on the hottest current topics! Indie Insider airs every Monday on and podcast hosting sites everywhere.

Black Shell Media is a publishing​ and marketing firm dedicated to helping independent video game developers reach massive audiences, publish financially successful titles, and turn game development into a career. It’s our mission to help game developers get more of what they want out of a rewarding opportunity in the game industry: more fans and sustainable revenue to keep them moving forward.