NCsoft is stepping up and declaring that they are committed to the City of Heroes franchise and to prove it they have renamed their Northern California studio in honor of the superhero smash hit.
Now known as "Paragon Studios", this division of NCsoft has been pumping out the content for CoH, the latest being the ground breaking Issue 14: Architect update that allows players to design and implement their own missions and story arcs. This is such a notable addition to the game that it has also been announced that they are releasing a hybrid retail pack of City Heroes that includes all content and features this latest update. More details have been included in the following press release:
SEATTLE, Washington - April 14, 2009 NCsoft®, the worlds premier publisher and developer of massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) today is proud to announce the official unveiling of 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 games 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 others 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 Developers 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. For more information about Paragon Studios, please go to: http://www.paragon-studios.net. For more information about City of Heroes: Architect Edition go to http://www.cityofheroes.com.
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