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City of Heroes developer renamed Paragon Studios

New branding "represents devotion to the present and future of the City of Heroes series."

NCSoft has announced the official unveiling of Paragon Studios, a rebranding of the Mountain View, California based development studio formerly known as NCsoft NorCal.

The new studio name is lifted directly from Paragon City, the fictional town in which City of Heroes takes place, while the rebranding of the studio "represents our devotion to the present and future of the City of Heroes series,” said general manager Brian Clayton.

Clayton expanded this thought to game development site Gamasutra, saying "Our temporary name didn't really play into our team's identity," and adding that the new name "really show where we came from, where our hearts are, and where we are going."

NCsoft NorCal was formed in November of 2007 to take over development of the City of Heroes and City of Villains MMO franchises, immediately following the sale of the IP from creator Cryptic Studios. Many members of the original City of Heroes team made the transition to the new office at that time, and as part of the agreement, NCsoft licensed Cryptic's engine technologies for continued development of the franchises, as well as new titles.

This news comes only two months after NCsoft laid off 55 employees from its Brighton office, in order to focus on moving development talent to its North American locations.

City of Heroes continues to be a successful franchise for NCsoft, which reported an 11 per cent quarterly sales increase last February, despite the publisher's overall 15 per cent decline in profits. Earlier this month, a "Mission Architect" tool was launched to allow City of Heroes players to generate and share custom missions and stories, a relative first for an MMO.

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Frank Cifaldi