Update, January 5: The president of Hi-Rez says you know what you’re getting with Paladins’ new Battlegrounds mode, but the name was inspired more by classic MMO PvP than PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
At this point, it’s no surprise when an existing game gets a battle royale mode, but Paladins raised some eyebrows yesterday when developers Hi-Rez announced that their take on the genre would be called Battlegrounds. You know, like a game from a certain unknown player. But the head of Hi-Rez says that name reflects an MMO standard more than today’s most popular battle royale.
Paladins: Battlegrounds is a team-based battle royale mode coming to Paladins later this year.
Hi-Rez president Stew Chisam tells PC Gamer that the studio had “a lot of conversations” about what to call the mode. “Do we call it Battle Royale, do we call it Battlegrounds, do we call it something else? We thought if we call it something completely out of the blue people might not know what it was,” says Chisam.
He says “when we got to actually playing the mode, you're in your four-person team with your classes, it felt like an MMO raid party. Then you're getting on these horses and you're galloping through this big fantasy landscape, right? For us it was more evocative of the old MMO battlegrounds. And so to us, choosing that name versus battle royale was more of an homage to those big MMO battleground-type setting.”
Chisam says, of course, that there won’t be “too many doubts” about what kind of mode Battlegrounds offers for Paladins. But he says that Battlegrounds will not have a “major role” in the game’s marketing, as it’s just one mode among the game’s suite of options.
Original story, January 4: The co-founder and CEO of Hi-Rez Studios says he doesn’t think “there are any pure, creative thoughts” in current game development. At a round table at this year’s Hi-Rez Expo, Erez Goren made the comment in reference to the development of Paladins Battlegrounds.
Goren says that Hi-Rez “try to be original, we try to always put our own spin on games, whether the community believes it or not,” but that “most of the time old games are iterations of other games in some format. I don’t think there’s any pure, creative thoughts that you can’t find in any game right now.” Referencing the development of the MOBA genre via League of Legends, back to the original Dota and beyond, Goren says “take any game you know that’s extremely popular and you can trace the roots back to something else. All the games are kinds of iterations of some other creative input.” Goren went on to say that “We always play all kinds of games, and like every other gamer or gaming company, we have thoughts about how to massage that into something that you're interested in doing.”
Going on to discuss the development of Paladins: Battlegrounds, the new Battle Royale game mode taking place in the Paladins universe, Goren says “Just like Battlegrounds mode, obviously we didn’t invent anything even remotely close to that, but since our player-base really seems to love playing both PUBG and Fortnite, we figured we might as well give them a taste for that.”
Highlighting the difference between those games and Paladins: Battlegrounds, Goren says Hi-Rez’s take “doesn’t feel like those games, it feels like a different version of that, but for our audience it should be something that complements the game very well.”