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Paradox ups Hearts of Iron 4 DLC subscription price by 60%

With more packs now included, the one-month DLC subscription for HOI4 and Europa Universalis 4 is going up from $5 to $8, starting next week.

Hearts of Iron 4 DLC subscription price increase - HOI4 screenshot from the Arms Against Tyranny DLC, showing Finnish tank and infantry units on the map

The prices of Europa Universalis 4 and Hearts of Iron 4 subscriptions will go up 60% from $4.99 to $7.99 per month, starting on Tuesday, January 16, publisher Paradox has announced.

The three-month subscription price gets a smaller hike, up 7% from $13.99 to $14.99 – and the best value, six-month option is being removed altogether – after January 16, you won’t be able to buy a six-month plan.

Current Hearts of Iron 4 and Europa Universalis 4 DLC subscribers will soon get a warning email giving them a choice between re-subbing at the new price, or opting out, the studio says.

Paradox Communications Project Manager Krzysztof Biernat (a.k.a. LordChristof) shared the news on a Paradox Forum post and via social media on Wednesday, explaining the price rise was necessary to reflect the bigger range of EU4 and Hearts of Iron 4 DLC included now, compared to when the Paradox game subscription model launched in February 2022.

“The current prices for these subscriptions were set two years ago,” says Biernat in Wednesday’s forum announcement. “Since then, we’ve released more DLCs for our games, and the amount of content included in these subscriptions is simply higher now.

“That’s why we’ve decided to increase the subscription price for both games.”

Hearts of Iron 4 DLC subscription price increase - screenshot of Paradox tweet announcing the change, on a blue hex pattern background

While that’s technically true, the relative scale of the price rise might raise a few eyebrows. Of the nine full Hearts of Iron 4 DLC packs available, only two – By Blood Alone and Arms Against Tyranny – have been added since February 2022.

That means a month’s HOI4 DLC subscription will cost you 60% more than it has for the last two years, for only a 28% increase in the full-scale expansions you get for the price. EU4 is a similar story, with two $15 expansions and one $20 pack joining the game since the subscription kicked off two years ago – meaning the full DLC list has only grown by 9% in that time.

However, since By Blood Alone and Arms Against Tyranny each cost $19.99 / £16.75 to buy outright, subscribers should probably have been expecting a price rise sooner or later.

Paradox famously tends to update its signature grand strategy games with dozens of DLC packs for years on end, rather than following the more common pattern of releasing series sequels every few years. Hearts of Iron 4 now has 19 expansions, while Europa Universalis 4 has 36 – and smash hit sci-fi strategy game Stellaris has 23.

Its pay-monthly ‘Expansion Subscriptions’ were introduced as a way for people to try out whatever bits of expansion content they liked for a temporary period, without having to shell out hundreds of dollars to buy them all. Initially, the scheme was trialled with Crusader Kings 2, before being rolled out to HOI4 and EU4 in February 2022.

If you’ve had your fill of the regular content in HOI4, why not check out our guides to the best Hearts of Iron 4 mods to spice things up, and the best (and weirdest) Hearts of Iron 4 achievements to chase after? We’ve even listed all the Hearts of Iron 4 cheats to help you wreak alternate-historical mischief.

Alternatively, dump HOI4 for a while and check out some of the other best WW2 games around.