Predecessor goes free-to-play with an open beta live now

By Owen S. Good, Contributor

Predecessor, the MOBA that takes players in closer to the action with third-person combat, will go into open beta beginning March 28 and add Xbox Series X/S to its multiplatform release, developer Omeda recently announced. The beta is now also free-to-play for everyone; it had been in paid Early Access since 2022.

“The reason we did paid Early Access was [because] we really just wanted to focus on the core gameplay loop and really make sure that we were delivering an experience that players could enjoy having fun with,” Omeda founder Robbie Singh told us. “The funny thing is, when we launched paid Early Access, people were like ‘You can release this already, we’re having so much fun.’”

Predecessor is available on PC via the Epic Games Store as well as PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S through those consoles’ marketplaces.

Predecessor is a successor to Epic Games’ MOBA Paragon, which was sunset in 2018 after a two-year open beta on PlayStation 4 and PC. Singh was a dedicated Paragon player and started Omeda Studios in 2021 to carry on the game’s legacy as Predecessor, which uses the game’s open-source assets. Omeda was also started with a $2.2 million Epic MegaGrant, a program started by Epic Games in 2019 to accelerate creative and innovative projects built using Unreal Engine.
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“I wasn’t just a Paragon player, I was also making content on it,” Singh said. “Basically, I was making two videos a day at one point. I really did love the game, and I thought there was massive potential in it. So obviously when Epic sunset Paragon, I felt like, ‘I think I’m missing something here, and I want to see if I can uncover that magic.’ Because there was just this sense of community, and I really felt like the MOBA genre lacked a lot of innovation at the time.”

MOBA, or multiplayer online battle arenas, are generally played from a top-down perspective where players, typically using a mouse and keyboard, direct their units and have a high-level view of the action to aid their strategy. Predecessor moves the action to an over-the-shoulder, third-person perspective, which puts a greater focus on both the unique hero as well as the combat immediately around them.

Singh’s personal favorite character, Argus, illustrates the gameplay opportunity and perspective Predecessor affords where a traditional MOBA could not. “This character has some really interesting mechanics where you can place something under his feet, and it flings him up into the sky, and then you can use your abilities,” Singh said. “Or you can place something underneath your allies and fling them into the sky. Or you can launch this pillar between an ally and an enemy…and those things are really fun. We had a great time—and sometimes they can go horribly wrong—but it’s so fun.”

In other ways, Predecessor still resembles a traditional MOBA: two bases at opposite ends of the map, three lanes to contest as both sides try to reach the other’s base, and a jungle area. Two teams of five human-controlled heroes are also assisted by AI minions. By destroying structures in the lanes, the teams hope to increase their strength, overwhelm their rivals, and ultimately seize their base, thus winning the match.

“When I was much younger, I would play League of Legends, Starcraft, and those top-down games are very familiar to me,” Singh said. “But then as I got older, and started playing the Call of Dutys of the world and obviously Fortnite, I didn’t feel as immersed and engaged with the product from a top-down perspective, although they are still great games. When Paragon came along, I thought, ‘Oh this is really interesting. Like, this is very immersive.’ So when I decided to build Predecessor, I kind of doubled down on those elements that I thought were really unique.”
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In addition to the closer third-person perspective, Singh wanted to incorporate cross-platform play for Predecessor. “None of my friends, even though I’m running a game studio—all of them are PlayStation and Xbox and don’t play on PC. So the only time I can play with them is when there’s cross-play.”

It’s also somewhat the elephant in the room that Paragon was retired right as Fortnite Battle Royale was hitting its now breakneck stride. While Singh doesn’t see a rivalry between the older MOBA genre and the newer battles royale, he does believe games like Predecessor can follow their example.

“To the point about the battle royale genre blowing up, it’s very easy to jump in, to play a game and understand what’s going on from the start,” Singh said. “With MOBAs, it has traditionally been very difficult. So one of the things we wanted to add to the genre was, ‘Hey, why don’t we just make this a bit more accessible without sacrificing the depth and complexity that players love?’”

Predecessor currently has 35 characters, shipping a new hero every six weeks. “Once we launch the open beta, we have a hero coming shortly after we have some adjustments that we’re making to some systems, and then a new game mode coming out, and then the ranked version coming out.” Singh discussed this content roadmap and more on the game’s official site at the beginning of March.

“I definitely think there’s a massive opportunity for MOBAs to make a kind of comeback, if you will,” Singh said.