Paragon, the free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game that launched on PC and PlayStation 4 in 2016, is shutting down on April 26. Epic Games announced in a blog post that “there isn’t a clear path for us to grow Paragon into a MOBA that retains enough players to be sustainable.”
Although the game had a dedicated following in a genre sadly underrepresented on consoles, its demise is likely due to the massive success of Epic’s free-to-play multiplayer shooter Fortnite, which has garnered more than 45 million players, with two million playing concurrently.
Although the announcement didn’t address it directly, a Reddit posting last week from a representative of the company wrote that “a number of Paragon team members jumped onto Fortnite to help sustain the game as it has grown far larger than anything in Epic’s past.”
The game was available in Early Access in 2016 and a successful open beta followed before the full digital release. Frequent updates added new heroes, rebalanced various abilities, and often overhauled entire core game mechanics. To say the developers were responsive to the player community is an understatement.
The representative cited the difficulty of retaining players after their first few forays into the game. “The core challenge is that, of new players who try Paragon, only a small number continue to play regularly after a month. Though Paragon has evolved, no iteration has yet achieved that magical combination of ingredients that make for a sustainable game.”
Members of the Unreal Tournament team have also been reassigned to Fortnite, according to Kotaku.
Fortnite has held its own against the other big multiplayer shooter of the year with a “Battle Royale” mode, Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. Although both games use the Unreal engine, PUBG developer Bluehole has grumbled that the 100-player Battle Royale mode is a close copy of its own game.
Although Paragon is free to play, it does have in-game purchases. And if you’ve spent any money on the game, Epic is offering full refunds for all Paragon players on all platforms. If you’re playing on PC or you’ve already linked your PS4 to an Epic account, you can request a refund here.
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