Merchants of venison: Crusader Kings 2′s ‘The Republic’ developer diary
Never mind Star Wars, this is the original old republic. Paradox will be releasing the merchant-based DLC for Crusader Kings II in early 2013 (for $10 USD), bringing the mighty power of patrician trade families to the strategic medieval title. Get ready to control one of the heavyweight merchant republics from either “Venice, Genoa, Pisa, the Hanseatic League or Gotland,” as you expand your trade empire.
Play your cards right (ie; influence the right people), and you may even be elected as Doge.
Here’s a Paradox developer diary talking more about the add-on.