Stewart Chisam will replace Erez Goren as CEO of SMITE company Hi-Rez Studios


Multiplayer online game company Hi-Rez Studios is seeing a leadership shuffle this week, as the man who’s been CEO for 14 years is stepping down – aside, rather.

“Heading into 2019, we have a couple other organizational shifts coming. Erez Goren, who has been our CEO since the company was founded in 2005, is stepping aside from that role, while I will take the title of CEO,” new top boss Stewart Chisam explains. “Erez will remain the Chairman of the Board and majority owner, and will continue to have input on the company strategy and the fantastic gaming experiences and communities we create. But this change gives him more time to pursue his other interests (which include multiple startup companies outside of the gaming industry).”

As GIbiz notes, Chisam himself is well-known to Hi-Rez fans, having been a key VP and then President for the last decade. Here’s how he put it for that publication:

“With the company in good shape and entering its next stage of growth, we thought now was a good time to make the change. Many people may not realize it, but Erez is a very successful entrepreneur [who] has started multiple successful companies in several industries. Over the past year or two, he has taken more and more interest in solving some healthcare industry problems using machine learning technology, as well as one or two other outside interests. The CEO change at Hi-Rez gives him the opportunity to spend the time he needs to with his other companies to help ensure their success, while still being engaged in the high level strategy.”

In his blog post today, Chisam further recaps 2018 for SMITE, Paladins, and Realm Royale. SMITE, he reminds us, is still planned to hit open beta on the Switch this month, with season 6 to follow in February, while Paladins will increase its content cadence in 2019 and Realm Royale will hit early access this spring.


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Bruno Brito

Considering the ammount of crap Erez gets on Glassdoor, i’m not so sure this is bad, but if it’s anything to go by, his interference on how the games are made and balanced is something we would all benefit if it ended.


Good-ish news? If Erez still has a lot of input on games being developed though that can lead to what we saw with both Paladins and Realm Royale tripping up majorly in their early stages, to the point where I don’t think Realm Royale can recover.

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Doesn’t sound like a bad thing at all really. Good luck to the man – fellow Atlantaian.


I don’t know.


Folks have grown to dislike Erez because he’s largely seen as the one putting his hands into games like Realm Royale and making the devs change them for the worse.

Bruno Brito

There’s also a minor issue with Erez being known as a “gamer/dreamer/whatever first, not a suit”, yet he left Global Agenda and Tribes to rot.