Towards the end of the sixteenth century, a group of English merchants petitioned Queen Elizabeth for the right to maritime trade in the Indian Ocean. And thus the East India Company was born. Over the next few centuries, this company would become essentially an autonomous political power, with its own rules and navies. Its monopoly on the trade was challenged by similar companies run by the Dutch, the Portuguese and other European powers. This is the world of Paradox Interactive's new strategy game, East India Company.