Paladins: Champions of the Realm has been available on Nintendo Switch since 2018, but will soon be unplayable on the platform. Paladins, which was ported to Switch a month after its official release in 2018, is Hi-Rez Studios’ first game on the console.
Paladins was announced in 2015 as a hero shooter from Hi-Rez Studios, developers of the popular MOBA Smite. First released as a closed beta in 2016, Paladins won’t officially release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One until May 2018, with a Switch port coming next month. The timing of its announcement and release will lead to comparisons to Overwatch, especially since both have different playable hero characters. However, Paladins has built its own fan base and is considered by many to be one of the best fantasy shooters playable today.
The developer of Paladins announced today on its website and Twitter that the game will no longer be supported on the Switch with the release of the Midnight Masquerade update due in late June. The developers cited performance issues with the Switch version as a factor preventing the game from meeting their standards, adding that “platform-specific issues” took up too much of the team’s time. Starting today, it is no longer possible to download Paladins or any of its DLC from the Switch eShop, and Hi-Rez encourages players to link their progress to their Hi-Rez account so they can continue their progress. The news comes a week after Hi-Rez game Rogue Company announced it would be shutting down later this year.
Fans on Twitter lamented the news, as the game has a lot of players on Switch. That disappointment is exacerbated by the fact that Paladins’ cross-progression isn’t available on PS4, meaning those fans are more limited in where they can progress. Other games like Fortnite and Fall Guys support cross-progression on Switch, but those versions of the game typically run at lower frame rates and may experience other performance issues.
Since the Switch is less powerful compared to other consoles, it has become a common occurrence for games to experience optimization issues when ported to a hybrid console. These difficulties are not unique to multiplayer games, as the Switch version of Skyrim : Anniversary Edition encountered optimization issues at launch. With no word of a more powerful Switch model yet, and with modern games becoming more graphically intensive, future titles may not be ported to the console, or be delisted. While Paladins may be the latest game to experience this, it’s unlikely to be the last.
Paladins: Champions of the Realm is available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The Switch version will stop playing in late June 2023.