Overwatch Accounts: Paladins an Overwatch Clone? Part 2
A guy that has rocket boosts and shoots rockets himself? Unique to Overwatch? Doom would like to have a word with you. What about the rectangle, blue shield-wielding knight in Paladins? Reinhardt? It’s a guy in armor that’s thought to be very sturdy – another common archetype. Frankly, it doesn’t take much to “rip off” Overwatch, or any other shooter for that matter, because nothing is virgin snow anymore. An idea, at some point, has already been used multiple times over. What really counts is what we do with it to set it apart from the rest.
Unfortunately, this is where Paladins fails immensely. They haven’t, at all, taken any measures to set itself apart from Overwatch. While it’s true that they took their inspirations from various other shooters and even games from other genres, the design and concepts of their heroes aren’t exactly executed in a unique manner, instead playing into the standard archetypes of said characters for ease, a type of development that Blizzard excels way more at. Hampered by the Overwatch marketing and Blizzard’s skill in crafting vanilla archetypes into truly memorable ones, Paladins is unable to do the same to stave off the unfair comparisons it has been getting.
Because of this, I believe that Paladins won’t really take off in the same level as Overwatch. Sure, an F2P title technically has a wider reach than a pay-to-play game of the same genre, but that doesn’t necessarily equate to any sort of real success. There are tons of F2P games out there, most notable in the MMO industry, and none have come even close to the success World of Warcraft has had despite the price tag attached to the latter. I believe this to be the same way for Paladins. Unflatter comparisons already mark it dirty, add to the fact that they made no effort to distance themselves from Overwatch, a smaller-scale marketing campaign, and the unfortunate status of being released after the Overwatch phenomenon has hit full stride is going to hurt its entry into the team-based shooter market. After all, trying to chase after over 17 million Overwatch accounts worldwide is an obscenely daunting task
Having played both titles, I can say for certain that both games are just as fun as one another; it’s all a matter of which aesthetic you like the most and/or if you can’t afford the $40 price tag of an Overwatch account. I certainly can’t say that Hi Rez was truly malicious enough in intent to copy from Overwatch; they are just unfortunate enough to be late to the party.