Remember Epic's action-MOBA that got steamrollered by Fortnite's success? It's back

Paragon: The Overprime action shot.
(Image credit: Netmarble)

One of the big victims of Fortnite's runaway success was, surprisingly enough, Epic's own videogame: Paragon. First released in 2016 after many years of development, this bombastic thirdperson MOBA never quite gained enough of an audience and, when Fortnite took off, Epic decided to pull the plug. It did so in an interesting way though, closing the game but releasing all of its $17 million worth of assets, for free, on the Epic Game Store.

Several games have already been released that make use of Paragon's assets. Fault: Elder Orb has been on Steam since 2020, while Omeda Studios is working on a MOBA called Predecessor. So we come full circle to a game that not only uses all of Paragon's assets, but has been granted permission by Epic to use the game's branding—welcome to Paragon: The Overprime. 

In development from South Korean studio Netmarble, PtO is an action-focused MOBA, needless to say it's free-to-play, and it's intended to operate as a live service game with new heroes dropping 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 across the universe!"

The question with this will be just how different it is from Paragon because, hazy as my memory of Epic's original is, this seems pretty much along the same lines: pick a hero, level them differently in each match depending on skills and item choices, and ultimately help your team destroy the enemy base. We've all seen games make comebacks over the years, mostly unsuccessfully, but it's singularly odd to see a game semi-resurrected in such a fashion by a different studio.

We'll find out soon enough whether the Lazarus act was worth it. PtO is currently running 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, new lobby design, and a reworked tutorial/ training system for new players. One wonders if there will be any old ones too: it's striking to see that this game is using Paragon heroes as-they-were in Paragon, while layering more on top. If nothing else, PtO will be one hell of a curio to round-out the year.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."