I got the low down on Hi-Rez projects from Scott Zier, who is VP of Design at Hi-Rez as well as executive producer of Hand of the Gods. We touched on multiple topics, from the flagship MOBA and the shooter to the MIA mobile title and the new mobile title. As Zier said, the studio always has a number of projects going at any one time: “We’re very much a multi-game studio.”
It has been an odd and not altogether happy ride for The Repopulation, but the good news is that the game is back into a playable state. It’s also the exact same game from when it got shut down, so if you were expecting some huge changes, you will be somewhat disappointed. And, you know, there’s the whole change in ownership that’s left a bad taste in many people’s mouths. Still, it’s online!
Other beta stuff also happened this week as it turns out. Which is good and hopefully will be less depressing. Let’s see.
- Dark & Light is promising special mounts for faction leaders, so that’s pretty cool! That’s uplifting! And it’s also… delayed once again, this time until summer. So slightly less than uplifting. Darn it.
- Shall we check in on SMITE Rivals? Perhaps that game will be more… oh, wait, that game’s development has been put on hold indefinitely, which doesn’t rhyme with “cancelled” but has a lot of the same syllables.
- Even Dual Universe has managed to contract Disappointment Fever by pushing back its first testing until September, so that’s not fun.
- Now, for some genuinely happier news: Trove has fully launched on consoles, allowing all of the pixel-esque building and blasting you could want on your television.
- The first closed beta for LawBreakers has gone live with a massive patch, for all the shoot-shoot bang-bang you could want.
- Paragon celebrated a full year of early access with a big patch and a new hero, as well. It’s almost like a normal anniversary.
Some of that still found a way to be sort of a downer, huh? Well, you can check out the full list of games in testing below, perhaps that will bring you more joy. As always, let us know if something hopped test phases in the comments! We’re trying to get rid of all the cash shops that take your money in supposed beta tests, but they’re remarkably resilient. Some of us suspect there’s a hive.
Bad news for those who were looking forward to another SMITE spinoff game; it appears that the digital card game version of the game, SMITE Rivals, is taking a vacation from development. According to Hi-Rez Studios president Stew Chisam, the game’s development is being put on hold to focus on developing SMITE Tactics:
— HiRezStew (@schisam) March 15, 2017
Past, present, and future. While the totality of a game studio encompasses all three aspects, we often focus on only one or two at a time. Over the last week, we heard a great deal about Hi-Rez Studios‘ present during Hi-Rez Expo 2017, from the tournaments (congrats to all the winners!) to what’s immediately in the works for its roster of games. But there are still the two other sides to the studio to consider. And these are the sides I explored in interviews with President Stew Chisam and VP Brian Greyson. Specifically I wanted to learn if the company had plans to connect its past with its future in regards to Global Agenda. I was also curious as to what other directions the SMITE franchise might take.
By now, it might be apparent that I am a bit enamored with the upcoming cross-platform SMITE Rivals. (Hey, it’s the only game I active seek out PvP in!) I’ve certainly really enjoyed playing the game; it is fun and not just a little addicting. But I have also enjoyed talking with the Project Lead Brian Greyson, Producer Randy King, Lead Designer Chad Wilson, Tech Designer Colter Cvach, and Designer Sean Watson throughout Hi-Rez Expo 2017 about the game. From formal interviews to informal conversations to quick chats between matches, we tackled topics like the copycat concerns, design decisions, tactics, and the future. I even tried to learn more about monetization — a hot topic in the online gaming community right now. Read on!
They say good things come in threes, and with today’s anticipated new game announcement at Hi-Rez Expo 2017, the studio has three SMITE titles filled with ancient god goodness. The newest addition, SMITE Rivals, brings the original game’s familiar gods (and many of the familiars and minions) to the collectible card genre in a new way.
The game will be available for cross-platform play on three platforms: iOS, Android, and PC. Players can move freely between the platforms; all progress is maintained regardless of which device you log into and play from. Also in the spirit of threes, the play takes place on a map of three lanes for matches that last three minutes. Decks consist of only eight cards — one god and seven other minions or spells. The 1v1 matches are fast-paced, and players can go up against other players in regular or ranked play, duel friends, or play against the AI.
SMITE Rivals will be free-to-play. While there is no date set for a beta yet, those who wish to get their hands on it as soon as possible (who aren’t at the expo already playing it!) can sign up for the beta right now on the official site. You can check out the reveal video below. To hear even more details about the game, keep an eye out for our hands-on experience and dev interview later on during the event!