People play Europa Universalis IV and Crusader Kings 2 an average of 190 hours, or 136,800 Flappy Bird lives

In news that is probably only surprising to people who have not been sucked into their vortex of systems and emergent narratives and lusciously illustrated maps, Paradox Interactive is reporting that their flagship games Europa Universalis IV and Crusader Kings 2 tally an average of 190-hour playtimes. “I see the amount of hours players sink into our games as hard evidence that gamers want freedom,” Johan Andersson, Paradox’s studio manager, told The Escapist.

He’s right. Both games have fairly steep learning curves but the converted come away with wild eyes, telling stories that you just don’t hear about from other games. In Crusader Kings 2, for example, a recent batch of DLC contains a set of characteristics and circumstances that, over time, you realize is the birth of the Antichrist. Freedom, indeed.