Tech

After closing down Paragon, Epic makes its assets free-as-in-speech

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  • A sample of the kinds of assets that can be part of your next Unreal Engine project.
  • $12 million buys some detailed character models… but you can have them for free.
  • 1,500 distinct environmental assets are part of Epic's dump.
  • Do not confuse Gadget with Inspector Gadget. They are two different characters.
  • A sample environment of the kind that can be created with the Paragon assets.
  • Shinbi's character assets come with an animation blueprint that can be tailored to your needs.

Game makers looking for inspiration or stock content to use in their Unreal Engine projects now have access to thousands of skins, animations, effects, dialogue snippets, and environment components from Paragon, the company's defunct free-to-play "action MOBA." Epic is making the audio and visual assets from the game available for free use in Unreal Engine projects, with "no strings attached," through its Unreal Engine Marketplace, starting today.

Following on the stratospheric success of Fortnite and its compelling Battle Royale mode, Epic slowly shifted focus away from Paragon in recent months. Epic then announced in January that the game's servers would be shutting down in April, a disappointing fate for a title with a $12 million development budget and a total lifespan of roughly 20 months.

All that development work won't be totally wasted, though, as what Epic says are more than 2 million registered Unreal Engine developers can now use the game's assets "in their own UE4 projects."

The released assets include files for 20 Paragon hero characters, complete with "base meshes, thousands of textures, VFX and animation cycles, and dialogue with hundreds of sound cues," Epic said. Shinbi's character pack also includes a tailorable animation blueprint that beginning animators can play with for reference.

Developers will also get access to 1,500 environmental assets from the game's Agora and Monolith maps and a sample map to test them on. The company also promised "millions of dollars' worth of additional Paragon asset packs" to come through the spring and summer.

Epic has previously released similar free asset packs drawn from mobile hit Infinity Blade and from its evocative "Soul" engine demos. This is Epic's first such free release of assets from a big-budget PC game, though.

Epic's situation here is kind of unique, since it has a marketable game engine to promote and an attention-grabbing Fortnite cash cow, which means it can effectively give away the Paragon IP without issue. Still, we wouldn't mind seeing other developers emulating Epic here and freeing the hard work developers put into failed and shuttered projects. We're looking at you and all the beautiful, no-longer-used assets for Evolve, 2K Games.

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