Paladins: Battlegrounds’ team-play was designed to help the game feel more like a game of Paladins than a traditional battle royale. In an interview with Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris, he says that the studio’s aim was to “let Battlegrounds feel like core Paladins.”
Paladins: Battlegrounds will be released to players “before the end of March.”
Harris says “we had a few choices, and one was to make the new mode very derivative of other battle royale games and less like Paladins, and we decided not to go that way.” Of course, several aspects of battle royale remain, but Harris says “these are assumed elements” of the genre that needed to be included to make the new mode recognisable. But he goes on to say that “we decided to keep champion abilities, keep team-play, keep items rather than weapons,” and that those are “all Paladins features.”
Harris also says that he expects to see a cross-section of interest in the new mode. “I expect that we’ll see a lot of Paladins fans who enjoy it, as a variation. I expect that some people will be looking for the battle royale, and they’ll see that it’s not the same [as other battle royale games]. And then I also expect that some people who like old-style MMO PvP-style Battlegrounds will like it as well.”
Despite multiple options, Harris says that Hi-Rez chose to maintain other elements that stem from Paladins, including mounts, various different roles, and team-play. Harris says all of those are “kind of consistent with our overall idea that we do want the encounters and the play of champions to feel consistent with the Paladins that millions of players are used to,” rather than an experience that was more similar to a different game.
Despite the proximity to Paladins, however, Harris says that “Paladins: Battlegrounds is unlikely to have “formal esports scene.” The logistical challenges of creating a continuous 100-player competition mean that a regular competitive league is unlikely, but that “we’ll let the community guide us with that.” Far more likely is the existence of occasional competitive tournaments, which Harris says he has “no doubt” we will see. He also says that he “would not be surprised to see” paid competitive tournaments at Hi-Rez Expo next year.