Since Paladins: Champions of the Realm entered open beta a few days ago, there was no shortage of players saying that the new game from the makers of SMITE is a copy or clone of Blizzard’s Overwatch. In this day and age, it’s hard not to find games that were inspired by others and while Hi-Rez Studios could just ignore all this, Todd Harris went to Reddit to explain the genesis of Paladins and how it turned out to be the game that it is today.
Paladins started in 2012 as Aurum, a Fantasy based Global Agenda PvP like game. But when Overwatch was announced, the studio was in shock:
“Overwatch was announced. We were shocked and not sure what direction to take. We were already so far along with Paladins, but we didn’t want to compete directly against Blizzard.”
It was a time when Hi-Rez was searching for a clear route for Paladins, but all the tests didn’t get favorable reactions from players, as we mentioned at the time:
“We initially tried to find different ways to differentiate on game-play (different TTK, different style maps and game modes, different theme, etc), but the feedback from our tests, stats, and surveys showed that only a small part of our population was enjoying that style of game. In the end we said screw it and just made what we thought best, and closest to our original vision, even if people would think it’s too close to Overwatch.”
While cloning Overwatch is out of the question, Todd Harris says that Paladins ended up including some of the features seen in Overwatch:
“As a last point, it would be almost impossible for a studio of our size to ‘clone’ Overwatch in a year, but Overwatch did have some nice features that we decided to incorporate into Paladins (Kill Cam, Improved Lag comp, some verbiage like ‘eliminations’)”
What do you think of this? Is Paladins too close to Overwatch or nowadays it’s difficult to come up with something original?