With five expansions already out for Crusader Kings II, game designer Henrik Fahraeus admitted that it was becoming "pretty hard to figure out new ways to add to the game." But, that's exactly what he's tasked with doing for Rajas of India, the sixth expansion for Paradox Interactive's game. "We felt that we have to do something really drastic here, so we decided to expand the map fifty percent bigger and push it to the east."
One of the criticisms Fahraeus has of the original game is that the borders of the original map were "fairly unnatural," with "a lot of interesting countries cut in half. An area that should be interesting suddenly became uninteresting." And that's rectified with Rajas of India, which as the title suggests, adds India.
Surprisingly, the enlarged map is being offered for free to all players of the game, not just gamers that buy the expansion. "We want to keep the world alive and evolving," Fahraeus explained to us. "Every time we release an expansion, we release about the same amount of content for free." In fact, the update that coincides with Rajas' release will add new provinces, Steam multiplayer support, Steam Workshop support for mods, a borderless window mode, and a "more interesting" Africa to play with.
However, the paid expansion will give players the ability to play as an Indian ruler, one that has to deal with the three different religions central to the expansion. "India works really well because it has a feudal system," one that is compatible with the "medieval soap opera" that Crusader Kings is trying to be. With the expansion, you'll have to deal with Hindus, Buddhists, and Jain--each with their own unique characteristics.
Of course, Fahraeus is careful to understand that the game may offend due to its dealings with religion. "We need to simulate these religions, but we need to be extremely careful not to offend people," he said. "We need to make the religions feel different, but they might not be balanced, so we might step into very sensitive territory."
The Rajas of India expansion will be available in March for $14.99.