After launching on December 10th, Paranoia: Happiness Is Mandatory has, at some point in the past few weeks, been pulled from sale without warning or explanation. Based on the tabletop role ’em up Paranoia, the dystopian RPG launched as an Epic Games Store timed exclusive in December then vanished in… late January? Early February? The game is gone, and no one even said that it was going. Epic pointed us towards the publishers for answers. The publishers have not replied to us. This is the point in Paranoia where people would be blaming their squadmates, outing them as subversives, decrying them as mutants, and generally sucking up to the computer overseer.
Paranoia was made by Black Shamrock and Cyanide Studio and published by Bigben Interactive.
The space on the Epic Games Store which which Paranoia once occupied now returns simply a 404 ‘Page Not Found’ error. It’s gone. It’s not even clear when exactly Paranoia was pulled from the store. I can see from a site-crawling archive that it was still up on January 17th and, as VG247 noted, comments under an official Facebook post say it was gone by February 3rd. The game’s Twitter and Facebook pages have said nothing.
The why is a big mystery. The game isn’t great (our Paranoia: Happiness Is Mandatory review noted that it’s disappointing as a staid singleplayer adaptation of a tabletop game which thrives on wild collaborative storytelling and treachery) but most of Bigben’s games aren’t great. They mostly release licensed sports game, with a few adaptations like this and WH40K: Inquisitor – Martyr. And Paranoia needed some patching, but so do most games when they launch. Paranoia does not seem like a game so bad Bigben would pull it of their own volition.
Could it be a dispute with Paranoia’s owners? Between Bigben and the game’s developers? Or an issue with Epic? Dunno! No one’s saying anything. A complete blackout, saying nothing to players nor press, would suggest to me that someone’s lawyers have called for silence. But since no one’s saying owt, that’s just a guess.
Paranoia’s Steam page is still up, still saying it’ll launch on Valve’s store in 2020. I have no idea if that will go ahead nor if it will return to the Epic store.