It should come as no surprise that Epic Games’ MOBA, Paragon, will be closing its doors to players on April 26. Even with a small silver lining for developers, Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic Games, has struggled to find a lesson to learn from Paragon’s pre-mature shutdown.
In a small interview with Rolling Stone, Sweeney discussed Fortnite, its new “death cam” feature, and the impact that Fortnite and Paragon have had on each other. The replay engine that will soon be featured in Fortnite was built off the back of Epic’s now-canned MOBA. While on the topic of Paragon, Sweeney had a few disheartening words about the late MOBA.
“Paragon was a game that a lot of people had played and was widely respected for its quality and production values,” says the founder. “But after someone downloads the game and plays for one month a very small fraction of them kept playing.” Although the game was not a massive hit, Epic did have a game “with a very small fanbase who really loved the game.” Unfortunately, the small fanbase was not enough to keep the MOBA afloat for very long. Although Fortnite‘s development had its lessons for Epic, Sweeny was not sure if there were “lessons to learn from Paragon.”
To make Paragon‘s story even more tragic, the massive attraction, accessibility, and popularity of Fortnite largely overshadowed the MOBA. Tim even states that “if we didn’t have Fortnite perhaps we could have continued to experiment with Paragon and found some magical direction […]” It’s clear that Epic would have been willing to try and salvage Paragon, but capitalizing on Fortnite‘s success was the better business decision. The game could have evolved into something amazing and Epic could have “found some magical direction, but that’s really impossible to know.”
There is one small silver lining to this tragedy, however. As Paragon‘s swan song, just a few days ago, all of the game’s $12 million assets were released for free use in the Unreal Engine 4 marketplace. While the game itself will not exist once April is over, it will be able to give back to the community that loved it so much, and its heart and soul will continue to live on in other games to come.