Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory Vanishes From Epic Games Store With No Explanation

Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory Vanishes From Epic Games Store With No Explanation
Credit: Steam

There’s a mystery afoot, dear reader. Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory is (was?) a CRPG developed by Cyanide and Black Shamrock studios, based on a tabletop role-playing game from the 1980s. It released as an exclusive on the Epic Games Store in December of last year, where it existed for about a month or so before disappearing without a trace.

There is no exaggeration here. Paranoia: Happiness is Mandatory has vanished from the store, with no trace that it was ever there. Neither the developers nor publisher Bigben has commented on the matter and the game’s official Twitter account last tweeted on January 2.

Gaming blog GamesRadar reached out to a representative, who simply replied that he was unable to comment. “No comment” is pretty standard fare when it comes to trying to get answers from companies, but this situation is much more bizarre than most. What happened to the game?

The game does have a tentative Steam release set for this year, though there’s no official date. Of course, now one has to wonder if the game’s going to show up at all. This is a bummer, despite the game’s less-than-stellar reviews. Every game represents the hard work of several people, so it’s sad to see the game straight up vanish after such a criminally short run on the store.

The weird thing is that this doesn’t have to be that mysterious. Games come and go all the time for various reasons. Sometimes there are legal issues, other times it can be chalked up to a problem with the software. What’s so odd about this case is that it happened so abruptly and not only is nobody talking about it, but some are outright refusing to talk about it.

So what the heck happened? Developer Cyanide is no small fish. They’re responsible for the fan-favorite Space Hulk series, as well as the recent Call of Cthulhu and quirky cult hit Styx series. Black Shamrock is a much smaller studio, but there’s nothing to explain why their game would be pulled.

Paranoia is a licensed title, so it’s possible an issue arose with the license. At this point, this is all just complete speculation. The game wasn’t out nearly long enough to amass a fanbase, so nobody is exactly up in arms over its removal, but it’s a scary precedent, especially without an explanation. Now that the story is getting traction, hopefully, someone in the know will speak up and clarify things.