One of the big casualties of Fortnite’s runaway success was, surprisingly enough, Epic’s own video game: Paragon. First released in 2016 after many years of development, this bombastic third-person MOBA never gained enough traction and, when Fortnite took off, Epic decided to pull the plug. It did so in an interesting way though, shutting down the game but releasing all of its $17 million worth, for free, on the Epic Game Store.
Several games have already been released that use Paragon’s assets. Blame: Elder Orb has been on Steam since 2020, while Omeda Studios is working on a MOBA called Forerunner. So we come full circle to a game that not only uses all of Paragon’s assets, but has received permission from Epic to use the game’s branding—welcome to Paragon: The Overprime.
In development by South Korean studio Netmarble, PtO is an action-focused MOBA, needless to say it’s free, and it’s meant to function as a live service game with new heroes coming in and out. It also features the frankly baller tagline: “We invite you to Prime where the space opera of a symphony of heroes echoes through the universe!”
The question with this will be how different it is from Paragon because, as hazy as my memory is of the Epic original, this seems pretty much along the same lines: pick a hero, level them up differently in each matchup depending on abilities and item choices, and finally help your team destroy the enemy base. We’ve all seen games make comebacks over the years, mostly unsuccessfully, but it’s singularly strange to see a game half-resurrected like this by a different studio.
We’ll find out soon enough if Lazarus’ action was worth it. PtO is currently undergoing a “final test” before entering early access in November, which you can enter by tweeting something about how good the game will be on social media (eurgh). The game is also, appropriately enough, coming to the Epic Game Store.
The test includes new characters and a new map, while in-game the big news is an improved item index, a new lobby design and a reworked tutorial/training system for new players. One wonders if there will be old ones too: it’s striking to see that this game uses Paragon heroes as-they-were-in-Paragon, while layering higher. If nothing else, PtO will be one hell of a curiosity to round out the year.