Smite developer Hi-Rez Studio‘s newest game, Paladins (released for free on Steam last week) has recently came under fire due to its apparent similarities to Blizzard’s hero shooter Overwatch.
Paladins, also a hero shooter, contains a number of character designs and abilities that seem a little too familiar to those found within Overwatch.
Speaking to IGN, Hi-Rez’s COO Todd Harris asserted that Overwatch “was not the inspiration for Paladins” and that characters with similar abilities “were available and playable in the Paladins beta long before similar character abilities were shown in Overwatch.”
You can read Harris’ full statement below:
While Overwatch is a fine game, it was not the inspiration for Paladins. Game development is an interactive process with ideas coming from many past projects. For the hero shooter genre, the game that deserves the most credit is Team Fortress 2. We released a TF2 inspired class-based shooter called Global Agenda way back in 2010. Paladins was conceived as a fantasy version of Global Agenda and of the approximately 85 combat abilities currently in Paladins, the vast majority are from the game Global Agenda we made 10 years ago.
Given the marketing of Overwatch many people do not even realize that some of our champions, like the mini-gun mech (Ruckus) and the ice block character (Evie), were available and playable in the Paladins Beta long before similar character abilities were shown in Overwatch. And specific features, such as Chests, were also demonstrated in Paladins ahead of Overwatch. People who are interested can see all this early gameplay footage on YouTube and come to their own conclusions.
I personally can’t comment, as I haven’t played Paladins.
I will, however, leave this here: