Fortnite, Epic’s two-moded third-person shooter is incredibly successful. Much of that success comes down to the free 100-player Battle Royale mode. While an unashamed riff on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, it’s carved its own niche – and helped propel Fortnite to being one of the most popular games in the world.
It’s now been downloaded over 40 million times, and regularly has concurrent player numbers of over two million players. While there’s no indication of the player split between the PvE campaign and the Battle Royale mode, but I’m willing to wager it’s heavily in favour of the free one.
Anyway, it’s incredible success has meant that more of epic’s designers and developers have been moved over to Fortnite from other games. Most notably, Paragon. In a frank post on Reddit, Epic has said that development on its MOBA, Paragon has slowed down because many of its devs have moved to Fortnite.
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.)
Epic is willing to put in the work to make Paragon a success, but without player numbers there no real impetus to. When Fortnite continues to grow beyond expectations, it makes sense for them to move their human assets around this way. It could, however, spell doom for Paragon in the long run.
Last Updated: January 18, 2018