Development on Paragon and the upcoming Fortnite might never "be done," Epic Games told Polygon. Both titles will continue to receive updates after launch — a practice that stands as a major aspect of the studio's new M.O., Epic Games explained.
"I think that's part of the excitement, knowing that the game is never really finished and kind of dragged from your hands," producer John Wasilczyk says. "Having it be something that grows and changes over time was something we intended to happen right from the very beginning."
Epic Games as a business has moved away from big budget retail releases to free-to-play titles, ones that will arrive on the market ready to change in response to players' concerns and interests.
CEO Tim Sweeney promises that a full release for Fortnite, Epic's survival action game that's been years in the making, is on its way. The game's lengthy development cycle stems partially from Epic Games' redirection of focus as a company and with the title itself. (What started as a an arcade-style game has grown into an action title akin to Destiny, Epic said.)
Still, Fortnite will launch "unfinished," much like Paragon did this spring. Early beta testers of the free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena game played a build that was just "three days behind" that of the developer's. New content is continually being added to Paragon, which will receive a $60 retail release later this year.
To Epic Games, releasing their titles before they're in a finished state makes sense. That's because, the studio told us, online games are always in flux as they adapt to community needs.
"I don't think, in the modern age, that online games are ever done," Fortnite's lead designer Darren Sugg told Polygon. "I think it's an evolution: more polish, more features, things that players want we get to put into the game. We get to react to what they want as they play the game.
"I don't think most games will be done, as long as we have the ability to update them and the players are interested in us doing it," Sugg said.
Find out more about the future of Paragon, Fortnite, and likeminded online title Unreal Tournament — currently available to download in an early alpha state — in this month's cover story on the evolution of Epic Games.