1: Someone puts forth an idea
2: I help vet/develop the idea - is it a Paradox game, will it make money, is it fun, does it gel with where we're headed, will the forumites like it etc etc - lots of smart questions.
3: Others give the thumbs up.
4: A small team creates a proof of concept.
5: We play the proof of concept - if fun we go to step 6 - if not -back to step 1.
6: Full production.
The question is - Rome 2, Victoria 3, Gettysburg 2, Magicka 3, CK 4, EU5, Cities in Space 6, Stalin Vs Martians HD 7 , Queen Arthur 8 and Nights of Pen & Paper 9 - where are they in the process?
Kidding aside. A lot of games get to step 1&2 - few make it to 3, fewer to 4.