Developers Hi-Rez have announced that their 2016 Smite World Championships will be taking place in Atlanta, Georgia from 7-10 January.
Earlier today game developers Hi-Rez announced that they would be capping the prize pool for their Smite World Championships at $1m. Smite [official site] is an over-the shoulder MOBA whose character roster is populated by the gods of various religions. Its inaugural World Championship took place earlier this year in Atlanta, Georgia with a total prize pool of $2.6m, the majority of which was crowdfunded. I got in touch with Hi-Rez president Stew Chisam to dig into why he thinks the cap will benefit the professional gaming scene:
If I had to evangelise for one god, I’ve decided it would probably be Ah Puch, Horrific God of Decay. He’s coming to Smite’s Mayan pantheon of playable gods in the MOBA’s next patch [official god page here] so I guess I could evangelise about his in-game presence, but I’m thinking more about going door-to-door and asking people if they’ve heard the word of Ah Puch.
“Have you heard the word of Ah Puch?” I would say.
“Who’s that when he’s at home?” they would respond, wrong-footed by the unfamiliar name.
“WELL,” I would say, jamming my foot in the door and brandishing promotional literature. “He’s the lord of the ninth hell, the lowest and most horrible of them all, and the king of the underworld.”
The Smite World Championship is an eSports event taking place in Atlanta, Georgia. The prize pool is just over $2.6 million making it the third biggest in eSports history. Pip is out there writing daily reports, exploring the event and putting PayDay bars in her handbag (just in case).
Day one of the Smite World Championships opened with North American favourites Cognitive Red taking on the Chinese second seed Doage Is Dog. It looked briefly like there might be an upset as DID scored first blood on Cog Red’s Hunter, Snoopy. Unfortunately for DID, that was not a sign of things to come and the rest of the kills, and indeed the game, went to the young North American side.
The Tribes: Ascend updates keep on rolling out, and so too does evidence of Hi-Rez’s continued commitment to filling this game with strange stuff. Sure, they’ve already added disco, but now there are costumes. And elaborate backdrops. And German. But anyway, as long as the game keeps being good, we should not question the nature of these updates. And there are some pretty intriguing new toys in this update, so here we are.
RPS Feature All that war and you only scored one? You guys suck...
Tribes: Ascend is finally out of beta and ready to welcome all-comers in free-to-play jetpack combat. Is it enough to be the series’ true successor though, or just another casualty of its own reputation? We sent Richard screaming through the air to find out.
Well, OK, a diary – largely of the development variety. Surely, though, it’s full-to-bursting its heart-shaped lock with celebratory guns and glory – or at least some juicy gossip about how Tribes is totally gonna ask that dreamboat from the football team to prom, right? Not exactly. But hey, here’s something to get excited about: servers! No, seriously.
In April, Global Agenda expanded its free-to-play model to encompass those who had bought the game digitally. It seems that this was a very good thing for Hi-Rez Studios because the game is due to receive its largest update yet and that too shall be free. To everyone, no matter how or when they joined the game. As well as adding plenty of tweaks and new stuff, a full list of which is below, the expansion will add an entire new open zone, the Recursive Colony. According to the press release this place is controlled by a “hive-mind faction of robots constructing robots”. That’s a lot of robots. Hi-Rez say this is the biggest update in the game’s history and it suggests free-to-play is working out, attracting enough new players to remain sustainable and turning a profit. It bodes well for other upcoming attractions that hope to thrive using a similar model, not least of which is the studio’s own Tribes: Ascend. Full details of the expansion, due this autumn, await.
Global Agenda requires you to change your mind. Despite being built in the Unreal 3 engine, and despite looking really rather fine, it presents itself as an MMO. It’s a third person view of your character, with a tray of icons along the bottom of the screen, health and energy top left. But try and play it like an MMO and you’re going to end up dying rather a lot. This is fast, it’s proper action, and until you accept both genres melded into one, you’re going to be rubbish at it. Or at least I was. And then it clicked.