Paladins: Champions of the Realm has been steadily growing in popularity in recent months and now hopes to carve a niche for itself in the world of esports.
Hi-Rez Studios has entered into a partnership with Facebook that awards the social media giant with exclusive streaming rights for the inaugural Premier League this fall. The decision to move away from Twitch, the preferred platform for everything competitive, is a bold one. However, the developer is confident that Facebook will help in expanding the reach of the free-to-play online hero shooter.
“Hi-Rez Studios has a long history in esports, and we’re thrilled to work with Facebook on this next chapter of professional Paladins play,” Hi-Rez Studio co-founder Todd Harris said in a statement. “With Facebook’s global reach and community building tools, we expect Paladins esports to continue its explosive growth on both a grassroots community level and at the highest tier of play in the Paladins Premier League.”
This is not the first partnership that the developer has agreed on for the future of its game. Last week, the Paladins Premier League partnered with World Esports Association (WESA) to provide players with minimum salary packages and teams with revenue sharing. A number of esports organizations have already confirmed representation such as Fnatic, SK Gaming, Natus Vincere, Ninjas in Pyjamas, G2 Esports, and Team EnVyUs.
It may come as a surprise but the game has reached 15 million players worldwide since it was released last year.
“It’s got to be a great game,” Leo Olebe, director of global gaming partnerships at Facebook, told Games Industry in a recent interview. “Something that everyone’s going to fall in love with, that 15m people are already playing. If you don’t have a great game experience to begin with, you can’t force anything from that moment on.
However, an impressive player-count is never a guarantee for a healthy audience. Not everyone is interested in esports, and the decision to not stream on Twitch may also prove harmful. We will know for sure that the Paladins Premier League kicks off later this year.