Europa Universalis IV exists in a finite timeline, starting on November 11, 1444 and ending on January 2, 1821. A player may choose any starting point between these two dates and begin a campaign as almost any country which existed in the world at the time. The entirety of the geography of Earth is represented and able to be owned, conquered, and colonized - with the exception of some regions of desert, jungle, or tundra, which are considered to be uninhabitable. While players may choose any custom date that they desire, the game features bookmarked starting points with the intention of having the gameplay replicate some of the most dramatic events in human history. Instances of bookmarks are the Discovery of the New World, the European Wars of Religion, and the French Revolution and subsequent reign of Napoleon. The game is, in short, an interactive world history simulator focusing on the time lapse between the Late Middle Ages and the Napoleonic Era. While some historical events like the Dutch Revolt or the Protestant Reformation are mandated to occur during gameplay, there is no set course and thus each play through can result in a different outcome.