squad in predecessor
Image via Omeda Studios

Predecessor interview: Omeda Studios talks moving the MOBA revival to Xbox

The studio is building a sustainable future for its beloved game.

Today, Omeda Studios has released the Predecessor Open Beta for Xbox Series X/S via box Game Preview, opening it up for even more players to join its growing community thanks to day one crossplay.

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The game was first released on Steam Early Access in December 2022. It’s a reimagining and revitalization of the MOBA title Epic Games abandoned two years after its launch in 2016: Paragon. If that name rings a bell, you’re not alone. There are loads of fans out there who played and enjoyed Paragon while it was live, but its shutdown wasn’t the end. Epic Games released all the assets it had made and left it up to the community if they wanted to band together to rebuild it.

Robbie Singh, who was at the time a Paragon content creator, wanted to see that very project through to the end. Over the following years, he and many other fans rebuilt Paragon, true to the vision they all had for it. Predecessor is so much more than a remake, though, because it features new heroes and hundreds of improvements that have been implemented thanks to the growing community the game has fostered over the course of the past year or so.

I adored Paragon when it was live on PS4. I thought it was what the MOBA genre was missing. That close-up, third-person gameplay makes for an unrivaled experience that I can feel when I play Predecessor today. I’ve had the chance to chat with Singh a couple of times now about the game and even play Predecessor with him during its Closed and Open Betas. Today is a cornerstone date for the title and the developer behind it, marking the point that a huge new player base gains access, and here is how that all came about.

A little backstory

argus in predecessor
Image via Omeda Studios

Before we dive into the driving force behind today’s Xbox Series X/S launch, I want to briefly tell you about the behind-the-scenes journey it’s been through. Something I’m constantly in awe of is the fact that Predecessor was initially built by fans in their spare time with whatever coding or game design experience they happened to have. Singh told me how the game looked rough, nothing like it does now in those days, but it was fun because everyone was working together on something they believed in.

The Steam Early Access release was the proving ground for Predecessor. It quickly adopted a large fan base who wanted to be part of this game’s interesting take on the MOBA genre. Omeda Studios always wanted to bring it to PlayStation because that’s where Paragon also had a home, but the reception blew all expectations out of the water: there are now over 400,000 players regularly joining matches.

The swift expansion to Xbox

soldier and gun in predecessor
Image via Omeda Studios

Singh explained to me how, “Feedback from the PlayStation beta really blew us out of the water. Even though we’ve been out on PC for longer, the numbers are already massively skewed towards PlayStation.”

For context, the PlayStation Closed Beta of Predecessor started on December 5, 2023, and proved to be so popular that it was extended into the Open Beta indefinitely. It seems as though many players were enjoying the game that it changed the studio’s plans from rebuilding and releasing an Open Beta with feedback to ensuring that player base doesn’t dip.

Of course, a massive influx of players is one thing. I didn’t expect to see the game come to Xbox so quickly, though. I asked Singh why the decision was made to come to Xbox so soon after PlayStation, and how the company managed to do it.

“We want to hit Xbox too because it’s easier to develop in parity rather than wait,” said Singh. “The PlayStation Beta influx informed the positive decision to do Xbox much sooner, so we moved forward to do it in March and be ambitious. We built the Xbox version in about three to four months, so very quickly. We benefitted a lot from developing the PlayStation version and we’re just excited to get the game onto Xbox.”

grux n predecessor
Image via Omeda Studios

I asked Singh to elaborate a little on the process of building the Xbox version, using the PC and PlayStation versions, and he managed to make it sound simple. At one point, the words, “You just toggle Xbox on,” were thrown around as a joke, followed by very nervous laughter from both of us.

In reality, Omeda Studios was able to build the Xbox version of Predecessor so fast because it had already made a solid foundation. From the word “go,” Predecessor was built to support controller inputs. Adding this further down the line once a game is running on PC is, according to Singh, a load of work and a giant pain.

Thanks to the developer’s work on ensuring every input would function well on a controller, a huge amount of work was saved. Robbie told me that building Predecessor‘s PlayStation version took between six to nine months, but a lot of that is building the systems that work with the new device, such as social interactions and databases for the homescreen. This is still a lot of work, but it’s not quite the same as building the whole game again.

With the experience of already having built a console version of Predecessor, the team was in a great position to jump in and make another, which is another reason the Xbox version didn’t take as long to make. I should add that Omeda Studios also hired developers who had worked on Xbox and PlayStation games to help with these builds, almost certainly helping shorten that development time.

angel in predecessor
Image via Omeda Studios

“A lot of people were saying, ‘When is it coming to Xbox?’ Nowadays, people are much more aware of games that aren’t on their platform compared to when Paragon was first released, so we have an advantage here,” Singh said.

Omeda Studios is seizing an opportunity that a few games this year should have already taken advantage of: filling a massive gap in the market. “Xbox being new is exciting because it’s fresh data for the experience of that audience. I’m interested to see if it does as well as it did on PC and PlayStation,” said Singh.

Building for the community first

Singh keeps coming back to the Predecessor community and how the main driver behind every decision is to serve it. In the week leading up to the Xbox release, the company reduced the prices of skins due to feedback it had received from players, refunding those who had purchased new ones in the interim.

From my point of view, this is also why the studio makes every gameplay decision it does. Singh is incredibly attentive, listening to content creators, play-testers, and casual players alike, and the company works together to find the best way to please as many players as possible. Whether it’s an ability change, new hero, or damage buff, it’s all being done to make a better experience for the end user.

Singh is very upfront with me about this. He and the studio want players to be able to trust that every skin purchased will go toward finding future development. It’s refreshing to hear in an industry that’s seen so many developer layoffs while those high up in the same companies continue to be paid exorbitant amounts of money.

This even comes down to launch day. At this point, the team is experienced in releasing new versions of Predecessor and knows what it’s doing. However, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be any issues with matchmaking or other potential problems. Singh explains that the experience for those who get into the game will be preserved, and there’s a system in place to keep matches moving as quickly as possible to get players through any queues that form quickly and efficiently.

The Xbox launch is far from the end of Omeda Studios’ plans for Predecessor in 2024. The developer has announced a new game mode and ranked mode coming soon. I asked, but at the time of writing, there are no Xbox-exclusive skins for those who jump in right away. The studio loves time-limited event skins, though, so it’s worth keeping an eye out to see what can be earned if you try the game out alongside everyone else on Xbox.

Predecessor is currently in open beta on Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4 and 5, and PC.


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Author
Jamie Moorcroft-Sharp
Jamie is a Staff Writer on Destructoid who has been playing video games for the better part of the last three decades. He adores indie titles with unique and interesting mechanics and stories, but is also a sucker for big name franchises, especially if they happen to lean into the horror genre.