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Epic's Paragon is struggling in Fortnite's lengthening shadow

The "humbling success" of Fortnite has prompted Epic to consider its options with struggling online shooter

The runaway success of Fortnite has cast a shadow on another of Epic Games' titles. According to one of Paragon's development team, the studio is struggling to find a path forward for the game due to its small player-base.

In a post on Reddit, Epic Games' official account addressed concerns within the Paragon community that the rate of development on the game had slowed. An unnamed member of its development team stressed that, "our efforts have always been focused on growing the game."

"While each of these incarnations has been beloved by a core community, none has been large enough to achieve mainstream success," they said. "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."

The post arrives just a day after Epic confirmed - via Twitter - that Fortnite had 40 million registered users and a peak of two million concurrent players. According to the Reddit poster, the needs of the growing Fortnite team is one of the reasons that development on Paragon has slowed.

"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," they said.

"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.

"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."

This is a marked difference from the line offered by Epic creative director Donald Mustard when we spoke to him about the company's shift toward games-as-a-service at GDC last year.

"Paragon has been doing fantastic," he said. "We could not be more happy with the success of Paragon."

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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