2016 Gaming Awards – “Proof Early Access Isn’t Always Hot Garbage” of the Year – Paladins
Just like everyone was trying to latch onto the Diablo style of ARPG in the 90’s, ultimately creating the “Diablo Clone,” Blizzard’s back at it again with another game style everyone’s trying to copy. Paladins is trying to capture some of that hero-based, team-oriented FPS magic that Blizzard has created with Overwatch, yet Hi-Rez Studios (creators of Smite) are giving the game away for free.
Dubbed Poverty Overwatch, Paladins has been taking its Early Access time as an opportunity to build something of a community. They’ve been giving away thousands of champion skins, they’re up to 40 patches since its early launch, and eight competitive teams have been invited to the game’s first tournament in early January. With $150,000 up for grabs, Hi-Rez is taking risks in trying to carve out their own niche.
Over five million people have tried the game out so far, and it’s still fairly early on in the Paladins Early Access period. However, a lot of the community’s focus is on them in 2016, making them the solid choice this year. Please don’t let fans down.