The history of Tribes: Ascend is a strange one. Like the first few titles out of Hi-Rez Studios, it launched to decent reception, had some patches, then dropped off of the face of the planet. What happened? In a recent interview, creative director Sean McBride discusses the game’s initial trajectory as including several mistakes, not the least of which was a reluctance to listen to community feedback:
Once the high scores rolled in…PC Gamer gave it Editor’s Choice, and we got a couple 10s and a bunch of nines and a few eights. We did pretty well on the scores. I think at the time we were very resistant to changing the game. We were like, ‘people like it, it scored really well.’ It wasn’t until the numbers started to fall that we really would consider even changing it. There was a big resistance to listening to feedback from the community, which wasn’t the right call.
McBride singles out the developers bloating the game with more weapons than it could reasonably support as well as being too penny-pinching with its currencies. However, the team working on the game is pleased with the reception of the game’s first patch in forever, and the plans are to continue offering more such patches to repair the game as a whole. There are cautionary tales about how the game was managed, but the first new patch released last week, and the hope at Hi-Rez Studios is that it can be a cautionary tale with a happy ending.