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December 2023

Prison Architect

Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Genre: Simulation
Developer: Introversion Software
Release Date: Oct. 6, 2015

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'Prison Architect' Celebrates New Sales Milestone With Free Content Update

by Rainier on Sept. 12, 2022 @ 6:00 a.m. PDT

Prison Architect is a top down construction and management simulation where the player takes control of the running and building of a maximum security prison.

Build and manage a Maximum Security Prison. As the sun casts it’s early morning rays on a beautiful patch of countryside the clock starts ticking. You’ve got to crack on and build a holding cell to detain the job­ lot of maximum security prisoners that are trundling to your future prison on their yellow bus. As your workmen lay the last brick you don’t have a moment to let them rest as they need to get started on the first proper cell block so you can make room for the next prisoner intake. Once they’ve all got a place to lay their weary heads the fun can really start.

You’ll need a canteen, infirmary and a guard room, oh, and don’t forget to plumb in a toilet, or things will get messy, but what about a workout area? Or solitary confinement cells? Or an execution chamber?

Prison Architect opens with the story of Edward, a man facing the electric chair for committing a crime of passion. This is followed by four additional chapters focusing on different characters and aspects of prison life. From Mafia Dons to power-crazed senators, Prison Architect has them all! To bring these characters to life, Introversion teamed up with award winning professional writer Chris Hastings, producing an enthralling tale of corruption and human misery set against the background of the modern prison industrial complex.

Finished your supermax? Got guard dogs roving every corridor and prisoners eating out of your hand? Now you can live the horror by firing up escape mode and play as a prisoner hell-bent on getting the hell out of dodge.

Dig a tunnel, go for the armoury or start a riot and slip out in the chaos, it’s entirely up to you! Figure out how to escape from your own creation, or hit the random button and load one of the 12,000 prisons created by the steam community.

Paradox Interactive and Double Eleven announced and launched Prison Architect: Free for Life, a free update available to all Prison Architect players on PC and consoles.

The first in a series of content launches, Free for Life vastly improves the quality of life for Prison Architect players with improvements to the Scheduler, Guard Ranks, and Inmate Aging. Paradox also revealed that the hit prison management simulator’s popularity has continued to rise since taking over the IP in January 2019, seeing drastic increases to active players and expansion units sold.

Prison Architect: Free for Life makes life better for Wardens, aiming to implement the community’s feedback and focusing on the most requested features, so that players can spend more time managing their compound rather than navigating menus.

Paradox has continued to see Prison Architect’s popularity soar through the publisher’s ongoing support, content updates, and expansions since acquiring the IP in 2019. 

Prison Architect by the numbers, since January 2019:

  • More than 1.3MM expansion units sold
  • 60% increase in monthly active users
  • 1.5MM base game units sold

“We are constantly working on improving our players’ gaming experience, and we committed to the release of this free update to thank everyone who has been supporting Prison Architect,” said Sandra Neudinger, Vice President of Business at Paradox Interactive. “This game is one of the cornerstones within our management segment, and has helped us build the foundation for a strong and attractive management game portfolio that I’m sure will keep engaging our players”. 

‘Free for Life’ Key Features:

  • Prisoner Log and improved Scheduler: Always be aware of what's happening in your prison with the new Prisoner Log. Check your inmates’ activities, uncover misconducts ahead of time and keep track of who gets released, reformed, or reoffended. We also improved the game’s Scheduler, adding new options and settings in the palm of your hand.
  • Save and Reuse: Whenever you create a new prison, a new policy, or a quick build, you’ll be able to save them in your Preferences. Save time setting up your prison next time you wish to start afresh.
  • Aging is caring: Now inmates are divided into Young, Senior and Elderly. After spending an extended period of time in your prison, they will change both visually and functionally. They will also develop different needs compared to younger inmates.
  • New Guards ranks: Hired guards will now arrive at your prison unranked and will need to work hard to get promoted to Officer and Specialist Officer. Their commitment will be paid off though, as each increase in rank will provide additional perks.
  • Improved building and planning tools: The planning menu is getting renewed with lots of new options for fences and walls. Moreover, when “drawing” your walls and using construction options, you’ll see a new cursor-based tooltip stating the horizontal and vertical dimensions of the room, along with the planned cost for the currently drawn selection.

Inspired by Dungeon Keeper, Dwarf Fortress and Theme Hospital, Prison Architect is the world’s best lock-­em-­up.

Prison Architect is available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One and PC.

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