One became a success right off the bat and the other largely flew under people’s radars. We’re talking about Epic Games’ hit Fortnite and MOBA Paragon, which the developer admits is struggling to retain players beyond a month.
Understandably, the success of Fortnite and players’ response to Paragon both have their implications. Epic has now written an open letter to fans on Reddit, announcing that it’s slowing down the latter’s development until further notice as it figures out how the MOBA can achieve growth. We also learn that a lot of Paragon developers have jumped ship to help out with Fortnite.
Part of the letter reads:
Work on Paragon continues. V.45 ships this week with both Hero and Card balance as well as stability improvements.
However, progress has been slower lately for two reasons: First, the team’s time is split between immediate improvements and longer-term efforts, so there’s less visible progress. Second, 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.
Here inside Epic, we’re talking about the future of Paragon in pretty much the same terms as you’re talking about it. 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. (As an aside, the problem isn’t marketing or how to make money with Paragon. We have good ideas that would solve those problems if we can find a way to make Paragon grow.)
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be figuring out if and how we can evolve Paragon to achieve growth and success, and trying some things internally. In the meantime, Paragon’s release cadence will be slower.
Epic has promised fans that it’ll be transparent, and will share more details in due course.