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Fortnite’s explosive success leads Epic Games to reevaluate Paragon

The future of Paragon is uncertain

paragon Epic Games
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Epic Games has moved some employees off of its Paragon MOBA in order to assist on Fortnite, according to a statement made on Reddit. In an unusually candid letter to its community, a representative from Epic said that the future of Paragon was uncertain at this time.

“Our efforts have always been focused on growing the game,” Epic said. “While each of [Paragon’s] incarnations has been beloved by a core community, none has been large enough to achieve mainstream success. This, combined with the humbling success of Fortnite has caused us to question if we have a good path to grow Paragon and make it thrive.”

Paragon has been in active development for some time, and was released into early access in March 2016. Since then it has refreshed and reinvented itself a number of times. The most recent change was detailed here at Polygon last June, during the E3 event in Los Angeles. Despite those changes, Epic said that the game has so far failed to achieve enough momentum.

Epic Games’ Fortnite, on the other hand, is doing quite well. The base game is a for-pay title currently in early access development. This summer, the team launched a free-to-play game mode called Fortnite: Battle Royale, a survival shooter inspired by PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Last month Epic told Polygon that more than 30 million unique accounts have been created since launch. That includes users who paid full price for Fortnite, and those who downloaded the free-to-play Battle Royale mode on PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One.

In the Reddit post, Epic went on to say 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.” That will necessarily translate into a slower “release cadence” of updates and improvements to that game.

“Over the next few weeks,” Epic said, “we’ll be figuring out if and how we can evolve Paragon to achieve growth and success, and trying some things internally.”

Reached for comment, Epic had nothing further to add.

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