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'City of Heroes' Developers Now Called Paragon Studios

by Rainier on April 14, 2009 @ 9:46 a.m. PDT

City of Heroes is a superhero themed online RPG that offers a host of gameplay features. Players create their own heroes, and then band together with other players to fight evil, build their own secret HQs and strive to become the premiere hero group in the city. Having picked up where Cryptic studios left off, NCSoft NorCal has renamed into Paragon Studios.

Based in Mountain View, CA, Paragon Studios, formerly known as NCsoft NorCal, will continue its ongoing commitment to further develop and innovate the critically acclaimed City of Heroes® franchise and other MMO games. As the studios’ inaugural release, Paragon Studios and NCsoft today also announced City of Heroes: Architect Edition, its first “hybrid” retail pack for both PC and Macintosh that includes all content updates, including the recently released Issue 14: Architect. The Architect Edition, available in North America, will allow users – for the first time ever in MMO history – to fully customize and share missions, characters, and story arcs, giving players an unparalleled level of flexibility to craft and share unique experiences.

“The renaming of our studio to Paragon Studios represents our devotion to the present and future of the City of Heroes series,” said Brian Clayton, general manager of Paragon Studios and executive producer for the City of Heroes franchise. “As pioneers in the comic book-inspired MMO genre, together with our esteemed veteran development team, it is our mission to continually strive for innovation, solidify the strength of our brand, and continue providing high quality experiences for City of Heroes and any future projects that come from Paragon Studios.”

As the leader in critically acclaimed and highly successful MMO games, NCsoft, together with the accomplished development team of City of Heroes, formed the Northern California-based studio in Fall 2007 to focus on improving and furthering the series. Since then, the studio has greatly expanded the game’s content and offerings, including its support of the game from an initial staff of 20, to a staff of over 50 people.

The recently launched City of Heroes Mission Architect system offers a truly customizable gaming experience unlike any other in any MMO. Players can create their own original missions using thousands of existing assets from the game, and personalize their stories by building unique characters and enemy groups using City of Heroes’ highly regarded Character Creator system. The innovative system offers flexibility in dynamic story telling by allowing players to write custom dialogue for their missions, and publish up to three story arcs per account. Each user-created story containing up to five missions and up to twenty-five individual objectives will be searchable via drop-down lists and key word search in the Mission Architect system.

The Mission Architect system allows players to share and search the content they upload, and play and rate each other’s story arcs as well. The highest rated and most played missions will be prominently displayed as “Hall of Fame” missions, earning the creators in-game rewards for creating excellent content. Additionally, the best of these submitted story arcs will be hand chosen by the City of Heroes development team and deemed as “Developer’s Choice” missions. Receiving either of these prestigious designations will reward the author with an additional slot to create even more quality custom stories.

“Investments in building upon truly unique experiences are critical for the ever-expanding MMO audience,” said Matt Miller, lead designer of Paragon Studios. “Since the City of Heroes development team joined NCsoft in 2007, we have been able to unleash new concepts and push the boundaries for our users. Our development model strives to consistently challenge our development teams in new ways of thinking, and has already proven successful, most notably featured in the Mission Architect system in Issue 14: Architect.”

City of Heroes: Architect Edition is rated “T” for Teen by the ESRB.

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