Epic Games has announced that it is closing down its free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena title Paragon following player retention issues that made the game unsustainable.
The game itself was Epic's attempt to join titles like League of Legends and Dota 2 in the free-to-play MOBA genre, though Paragon notably struggled to gain a foothold in that field both as an Early Access title in 2016 and, later, as a free-to-play beta in early 2017.
The developer publicly detailed some of the obstacles Paragon was facing in a Reddit post last week, saying that the team would have to take some time to evaluate if it was possible to transition Paragon into a sustainable online game.
Just over one week later, Epic now says “there isn’t a clear path” to sustainability for Paragon and that it will be closing the game down on April 26 as a result. However, the developer has promised that it will refund players for every purchase made within the free-to-play game since its release, no matter if those purchases were made on console or PC.
Previously Epic had explained that the success of Fortnite: Battle Royale, its other free-to-play venture, was causing the company to rethink the future of Paragon. In that previous Reddit post, the developer explained that members of the Paragon team had to be pulled over to Fornite to help the game cope with its unexpected growth.
That, coupled with the fact that new Paragon players seldom stuck with the game beyond their first month of playing, caused Epic to sit down and reevaluate its strategy with the game.
“After careful consideration, and many difficult internal debates, we feel there isn’t a clear path for us to grow Paragon into a MOBA that retains enough players to be sustainable,” explains a post from Epic. “We didn’t execute well enough to deliver on the promise of Paragon. We have failed you -- despite the team’s incredibly hard work -- and we’re sorry.”