Hearts of Iron 4 is one of Wargamer’s favourite PC grand strategy beasts, and – while it’s not been announced yet – we can’t help but hope to see a Hearts of Iron 5. We’ve not much to go on, but – digging through Paradox’s previous releases for HOI4, Europa Universalis, and Crusader Kings – we’ve pulled together some loose predictions here.
We think suspicions of a nascent HOI5 are justified mainly on account of the fourth game’s riotous success as one of the best WW2 games around. Since its arrival in 2016, HOI4’s toybox of alternate WW2 histories and crunchy, complex systems has managed to be many things to many people. Like learning to perfect the mechanisms of war? It offers every possible land, sea and air war on earth. Best of all, like all Paradox grand strategy titles, it has lived a long, busy life, accumulating whole ranks of cracking HOI4 DLC, and the vast, flourishing scene of HOI4 mods has expanded the game’s horizons many-fold.
And yet – by mainstream game standards at least – Hearts of Iron 4 is getting old. Originally released in 2016, the base game turns seven this month, June 2023. While hardcore players still have a laundry list of expansions and reworks they’d like, the question has begun to be asked: how many of those new goodies can be expected for this game – and how many will have to wait for the – presumably inevitable – Hearts of Iron 5?
We’ll keep trawling Paradox Interactive’s statements on the series, and the web at large, to collect together everything we know so far about the expected sequel – and don’t worry, we’ll keep this guide updated regularly, as we glean more nuggets of information on Hearts of Iron 5.
Hearts of Iron 5 release date speculation
Unless Paradox Interactive has a big surprise up its sleeve, we don’t think we’ll hear about a Hearts of Iron 5 release date until late 2024 at the earliest – the most recent DLC, By Blood Alone, came out in September 2022, and there’s been no hint of an upcoming reveal for the series.
Additionally, if the historical examples of older Paradox siblings are anything to go by, the game has at least two y ears left before a sequel would likely be announced.
There were eight years between Crusader Kings (2004) and CK2 (2012), and then another eight before Crusader Kings 3 arrived in 2020. Europa Universalis 4 is already seven-and-a-half years old, without any announced sequel on the docket.
What could the Hearts of Iron 5 gameplay be like?
When the time does come for a sequel, it will be interesting to see if the Hearts of Iron 5 gameplay will follow HoI4’s lead and hedge its bets between alternate history sandbox and WW2 wargame – or firmly decide to embrace itself as a strict World War II simulator.
Or (the wild card) perhaps it could lean more towards the grand strategy portion of its heritage, turning away from pinpoint military planning, in favour of deeper political and economic mechanics, and a wider timescale.
We’ll be happy either way, as long as you can still create satisfying stories by being rubbish at the game…
Hearts of Iron 5 news
We’re going to rip this band-aid off straight away: there’s almost nothing to get our teeth into yet, in terms of Hearts of Iron 5 news, leaks or rumours.
So far, the most exciting moment was when Paradox accidentally wrote “Hearts of Iron V: Man the Guns” on one of their French-language Steam pages (Man the Guns, of course, is a Hearts of Iron 4 DLC).
We’ve got our feelers out ready, though – as soon as there’s something solid, we’ll let you know.
Hearts of Iron 5 trailer
Sorry to get your hopes up, but there’s no Hearts of Iron 5 trailer yet. Rest assured, as soon as there is, we’ll have it here for your viewing pleasure.
Just as soon as we’ve watched it 30 times to mine out every detail…
While we’re all waiting, why not review your Hearts of Iron 4 mods loadout? Alternatively, get off your screen and explore the best historical board games.