How City of Heroes studio Paragon nearly staved off destruction


Nearly. That’s the key word. In the end, NCsoft closed Paragon, scores of developers were let go, and City of Heroes was offline by Christmas last year. But salvation was reportedly only an outstretched Super-arm away before the studio was pulled into a passing jet engine by its cape.

Paragon lead designer Matt Miller told Gamasutra that the company had negotiated a management buyout with NCsoft – one that would have allowed the staff to keep their jobs, and the dedicated City of Heroes fan base to keep their beloved game. But at the last hurdle, unresolvable issues saw the deal fall through.

“It was very much a surprise,” said Miller. “We all were really working as if things were going to work out… It was business as usual right up until the last day.”

“Things looked like they were going to go well and then things just kind of stopped going well. I’m not exactly sure where the sticking points were, but in the logistics of business there’s always some sticking point somewhere [on which] people just aren’t willing to budge and I think that’s where we ended up. There were one or two points where neither side could budge.”

“On the night before we all got the notice of the studio shutting down, Brian [Clayton, manager], Ross [Borden, business and marketing], and Destin [Bales, product development] were in there still trying to work out that deal,” he added. “We were a signature away from things going through or not – and we unfortunately fell on the not side.”

Were you a player of City of Heroes, either at its dawn or during its twilight?

Thanks, RPS.