Paragon, the 3D MOBA from Epic Games, is shutting down come April 26. But before it goes, it has one last gift to give: $12 million worth of assets, now available for anyone who's signed on as an Unreal Engine developer to use in their own projects as they see fit.
Now, before you start dreaming up your get rich quick scheme, the $12 million figure is what Epic estimates these assets cost to develop, not how much they are innately worth. And now that they're free for pretty much everyone (you'll need to download Unreal Engine 4, but that too is free) there's virtually no point in asset-flipping. That being said, don't be surprised if you see some cheap, extremely basic games using Paragon assets flood Steam in the coming weeks.
All in all there are twenty heroes now up for grabs on the Unreal Engine Marketplace. According to a statement from Epic, this includes "base meshes, thousands of textures, VFX and animation cycles, and dialogue with hundreds of sound cues". There's also an animation blueprint for Shinibi (a character who is literally a K-Pop idol) making her particularly flexible. If you need an environment to put these characters in, there are also more than 1,500 assets from two of Paragon's maps, Agora and Monolith. Epic plans to release even more free assets over the coming months.
Overall, I think this is a pretty great move by Epic. The company was already willing to offer refunds for Paragon players, and now the IP is essentially one great big open-source library. And if I'm being totally honest, while I found Paragon's gameplay satisfactory, it always struck me as a bit of a tech demo of a game. I could imagine each of these characters as the hero of their own game, but together it felt like a bit of a jumble.
Now, who knows? Maybe that'll happen. Maybe you or I could create a sci-fi shooter starring TwinBlast, or a fantastical tale starring Serath. This could also be a boon to game preservation - imagine if the companies in charge of games like City of Heroes, Evolve, or P.T. gave away assets once the project was canned. I understand there are hurdles to clear, copyrights to protect, and not everyone can afford such a move, but it's nice to think about.
As for me, I think this is going to inspire me to finally download Unreal and see what I can make. Please look forward to my first project, Flappy Paragon, coming soon.
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