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It turned out what happened to Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory

It turned out what happened to Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory


The game was first postponed and then released to finally disappear completely without any explanation. Now it’s clear what’s in the background.

The former Big Ben Interactive, now under the care of Nacon, was made in the studio of Black Shamrock Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory, an isometric view sci-fi role-playing game. This was based on the table role-playing game Paranoia, originally released in 1984, created by Greg Costikyan, Dan Gelberg and Eric Goldberg.

Back in 2016, Costikyan and Goldberg signed an agreement with Cyanide Studio to make the video game adaptation. They had enough stipulations to get a copy of it before it was released so they could check its quality. Nacon announced in 2019 that the game will be available in the Epic Games Store in October this year. As it turned out, the couple holding the franchise rights did not consent to this, as they had not received the promised test copy by then. This was eventually made up for by Nacon after the official announcement went out.

However, Costikyan and Goldberg got a game full of mistakes. Therefore, a description detailing 74 bugs and issues was sent to the authors, writing not only about malfunctioning scripts, but also about poorly structured missions and general performance issues.

Therefore, the publisher postponed the premiere, but only for a few weeks until mid-November. The pair did not agree with this either, as the test copy they received for the second time was still far from what they felt could be released. They feared that the poor quality of the game would ruin the nimbus of the Paranoia franchise.

However, Nacon eventually released the game in December and refused to withdraw it despite the pair’s demands. That’s when Costikyan and Goldberg turned to Epic Games, who even took the game off the store in January 2020, just a few weeks after the premiere.

Nacon sued Costikyan and Goldberg in October 2021 for their actions, and they filed a response a few weeks ago alleging the publisher had repeatedly breached their contract. So the case is currently on the court, and players can only guess if Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory will ever reappear.