Hi-Rez Announce Tribes Universe

Looks like Firefall is going to have some competition in the persistent-world jetpack revival stakes, as Global Agenda developers Hi-Rez have announced that they now own the Tribes licence, and will be creating a PvP-focused action MMO called Tribes Universe. Details in the announcement post on the Hi-Rez forums are fairly encouraging: “We can’t transform Global Agenda to a large scale battle format but since we liked this concept a lot, we decided to create a new game based on large scale fighting. In order to develop the new game many significant steps had to be taken, including: A significant rewrite to the unreal engine servers to allow for 100+ players to be fighting in the same map, a new UI system that is more efficient, a different implementation of character visuals, a new terrain system, etc.”

Hi-Rez will continue to support Global Agenda, but this new, far more ambitious game will be the focus. Hi-Rez sez: “Alpha testing will begin at the start of the year (about 3 months from now) and Global Agenda players with level 50 characters will have priority in entering Alpha and Beta testing.” Exciting stuff. And interesting that this new game looks like the game Global Agenda players came away from that game wanting.


  1. Collic says:

    Tribes ! Why are these old franchises always as invented as MMOs though :(

    I admire the tenacity of so many companies wanting to fail in different and varied ways, but I’d much rather have another good multi-player shooter.

    • Starayo says:

      Considering how useless Hi-Rez has been at getting oceanic players a decent ping to play with (their “solution” is US servers) I wish tribes could have stayed ‘dead’ a while longer.

  2. trigger190 says:

    Wow that is awesome, Global Agenda did have a Tribes-like feel to it, with the whole jetpack, sensor and turret building and all that. Lets hope they dont pull another Tribes 3 on us but stick to the old formula.

    • -Spooky- says:

      Lets hope they dont pull another Tribes 3 on us but stick to the old formula.

      Indeed. Old gameplay with new engine will be stunning.

    • ZhouYu says:

      Not to put too fine a point on it, but its still the Unreal engine, if 3 rather than 2.

      Having followed most of the recent Tribes “revivals” fairly closely, I’d be surprised if we got a game that looked particularly like 1,2 or 3.

    • Seamus says:

      I don’t understand this mentality that a game’s chosen development framework somehow affects how that game will play; or more particularly from what I’ve seen on various different forums, that the game will not play like Tribes because it doesn’t use Torque as its engine.
      Sure, in vanilla UDK, the physics and character movement are not very Tribes-like, but as they state, they’re undertaking a significant rewrite of the engine, and considering how important things like character movement and ballistics were to how Tribes played, I’d be very surprised if they were not paying very close attention to these.

    • ZhouYu says:

      I didn’t mean to infer that the choice of the unreal engine would necessarily limit the game, though I agree there are those who would argue that, I intended to query calling it a new engine.

      I would also point out that the unreal series of engines hasn’t thus far lent itself to specifically T1/T2 skiing. In fact it was the unreal engine that led the T:V developers to a constant form of skiing, rather than what was essentially bunny-hopping.

      I’m honestly not sure there is a place for T1 skiing any more, it seems too inelegant (at a basic level, I know how extraordinarily elegant it can be at an advanced one) for the modern market.

      If I had to guess I would expect a smoother form of skiing, more like legions or T:V. Personally I don’t regard this as a bad thing necessarily, I am more concerned with a development team without obvious Tribes experience and with a very different conception of the core gameplay (planetside with skiing, to be flippant).

      I’d love to see it work out in the end, and for a wonderful mmo to revitalise all that I loved about Tribes 1, 2 and (sorry) Vengeance and indeed Legions. However, after years of failed hopes, I cannot help but be sceptical.

  3. Al3xand3r says:

    @Collic, don’t worry, it’s likely going to be pretty awful, fail to get the intended audience, and end up going free to play with just the game’s purchase and no fees attached, just like Global Agenda. Which shouldn’t have had fees in the first place as it’s hardly an MMO (and as is evident by the fact they removed the fees alone, if the game needed subscriptions to be maintained then doing this would be suicide for them as they’d now be paying the costs fees covered)… Yeah, things got to be right anyway.

    • Al3xand3r says:

      Also, is there any word on when Fallen Empire: Legions and other Instant Action games (Rokkit Ball!) will be playable again? It’s been “coming soon” for a long time now, can the RPS investigate? I need my Tribes-like fix!

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I need to poke them actually. We shall see.

  4. Fwiffo says:

    I think I was one of 5 people that actually cared about the Earthsiege universe’s story. I don’t know why but I really liked it.

    I know this will probably have no story or simply not care about the canon of the universe, but I just had to say it.

    • int says:

      I was one of those 5. I prefer Earthsiege to Mechwarrior every day.

      Anyway, new Tribes, weeeee!

    • Rei Onryou says:

      Guess that makes me 3 out of 5 then. =D

    • Eclipse says:

      #4 here :D I loved Earthsiege and Starsiege

    • Kast says:

      And here’s your Fifth Muskateer.

      “I found ma thrill… on Blueberry Hill…”
      “Cut the chatter, this is a war zone!”

    • Brian Manahan says:

      You five are nerds! Nobody likes you!

    • ShaunCG says:

      Aww dang, no room for a number six.

      (ES 1 and 2 were cheesy but fun, total Terminator-‘verse rip-offs, but StarSiege was wonderfully fleshed out and Cyberstorm was understated and sinister. Excellent stuff.)

    • Grey_Ghost says:

      Loved EarthSiege, but I just couldn’t stand StarSiege… believe me I tried. Though I did really enjoy the first Tribes game.

  5. de5me7 says:

    @Al3xand3r if you want your tribes fix play tribes next

  6. Darthey says:

    Still a long way off Planetsides 400-per-map.

    Why in all these years hasn’t anyone stepped up to surpass it?

    • Delusibeta says:

      Ignoring EVE Online, MAG on the PS3 had a good attempt, about 256 players is the maximum for that game.

      That said, I imagine the reason is the demand on servers and having 400 high-poly characters at once would cause most PCs to drop frames.

    • pupsikaso says:

      Who says they have to be high-poly?

  7. pupsikaso says:

    “And interesting that this new game looks like the game Global Agenda players came away from that game wanting.”

    Did you have too much or not enough coffee when you wrote that sentence?

  8. Wal says:


    now we will see if he is a cruel god :|

  9. The Great Skratsby says:

    My word.

    I really hope this does Tribes justice.

    Personally the series really means a lot to me, and do this day the Tribes games still stand out immensely. Which really is a bit worrying looking at the FPS spectrum.

  10. westyfield says:

    C’mon guys, don’t screw this one up.
    Never played a Tribes game before but, like so many other games from before my time (BF1942, X-Wing/TIE Fighter, Planetside to name a few) I wish I had.

    • Ted says:

      man, those games are still playable just fine on, say, winXP.

    • Solcry says:

      Ahh X-Wing. I want someone to make an update to X-Wing Alliance; one of my favorite games ever.

  11. Matthew says:

    It warms the cockles of my heart to see, in this MMO-starved age, a beacon of light. Big companies never give MMOs a chance nowadays, but sometimes there is that one game studio that dares to say NO to the publisher wanting another damn turn-based isometric tactics game, and goes of into the blue yonder with an original idea, a new thought, an MMO they can call their own! Good for them, I say!

    I just hope they’ll limit abilities with cooldowns and differentiate weapons mainly by DPS – those rarely used, but always welcome mechanics.

  12. august says:

    I’d rather the bare bones web-based version of T1 that Garage Games was making than whatever bloated monstrosity these guys are going to make.

  13. Ex-GGer says:

    Al3xand3r: I wouldn’t expect much out of InstantAction. The company is run by morons and almost all the good developers and artists have left over the past couple of years for greener pastures…

  14. Ovno says:


    Please make the new planetside…
    Please make the new planetside…
    Please make the new planetside…
    Please make the new planetside…
    Please make the new planetside…
    Please make the new planetside…
    Please make the new planetside…
    Please make the new planetside…
    Please make the new planetside…
    Please make the new planetside…
    Please make the new planetside…
    Please make the new planetside…

  15. Reefpirate says:

    People seem to write-off Global Agenda a lot. But it’s the only multiplayer shooter that has had me coming back consistently since it released.

    Wah, wah, it’s not an MMO! they say. Well, it may be or it may not be, but the PvP mechanics in that game are amazing. It’s well balanced, and hecka fun to play. Screw all you Hi-Rez naysayers, I trust them very much with the Tribes licence.

  16. tariqone says:

    Due respect to Hi-Rez, the half-bakedness of Global Agenda itself does not augur well for this Tribes outing. They’ve sorta fallen flat in building an amazing sci-fi shooter already.

  17. Dreamhacker says:

    “and will be creating a PvP-focused action MMO called Tribes Universe. ”

    NOOOOOO! :(

  18. Al3xand3r says:

    @Ex-GGer so, Garage Games is no longer involved with Instant Action? And what happens to Legions now then, does Instant Action own it or does Garage Games own it and so will be able to release it in a different form (I’d love a proper fully features download release personally, none of that browser only micro transaction stuff it was likely going to evolve into)? Or do you mean that’s it’s Garage Games that is run by morons? Please elaborate. Bleh @ replies still being bugged like this…

    • Ex-GGer says:

      Al3xand3r: GG in Eugene was essentially split with IA going to Portland and the game studio and engine teams going to Vegas. A lot of good people left before that split and then even more when the choice was given to move or not. As far as I know both parts are still owned by IAC [and may still be the same company]. They also killed off the GarageGames and Torque brands for some reason.

      My “morons” comment was perhaps a little over the line. I just don’t think the people they have/had in place to direct things – especially the IA side of things – know what the hell they’re doing. Hence the reason most of us left…

      I don’t expect IA to last too much longer. IAC can’t be too happy about pouring millions into it for absolutely no return after several years.

    • crash7800 says:

      GarageGames has been spun off into TorquePowered (torquepowered.com), the InstantAction platform (portland) and the InstantAction game studio (vegas)

    • ZhouYu says:

      Hey Crash, small world :p.

    • Ex-GGer says:

      Ex-GGer: “I don’t expect IA to last too much longer.”

      InstantAction Shutting Down

      Didn’t really expect it to happen quite this soon…

  19. pupsikaso says:

    Can’t trust Hi-Rez to make a good game out of this. Global Agenda was actually good when it was released, but unfortunately the content of the game that was designed to keep players coming back (the territory conquest), was a half-baked, half-arsed idea that failed spectacularly. And what did they do after that? Instead of fixing what was broken, they took what WORKED and “FIXED” that. And we all know what happens when you fix something that isn’t broken.
    Global Agenda right now is a worse game than it was when it came out.

    And now these guys say they are going to make a Tribes MMO? Really? The balls! I admire them for that. And I am ready to cut them some slack for being indie (but that’s not excuse to have poor design! Just inexperience). But still I would be very, very cautious to buy this game if I couldn’t try it first in a beta like Global Agenda had.

  20. rocketman71 says:

    Sad. Aren’t there enough goddamned MMOs already?.

    And you had to tarnish the Tribes name to release this one?. Shame on you, Hi-Rez.

  21. Rugged Malone says:

    I’ve been secretly hoping for a Tribes MMO for years.

    Hopefully they manage to recreate the old Tribes mechanics and use an engine that can handle enormous open environments.

    Client-side scripting would kick ass (I went by “Writer” back in my Tribes days) but I’m not holding my breath.

  22. Happyhead says:

    I hope they won’t ruin the series any further. Tribes 1 was amazing. Great crowd back in the 90’s. Tribes 2 was horrible and Vengeance needed proper dedicated servers. The simplicity of the original is what I loved, Don’t know about others, but keeping it simple would bring me back! I miss mine/disk ma’s! please don’t get rid of that!

  23. DragonSix says:

    “unreal engine”

    It’s doomed. Developers should know that Tribes only belong in its original engine (which still exist in an updated form and can be licensed too). Without it we know it will end badly, it already has before. Unreal is the worse engine possible for the job.

    • pupsikaso says:

      Why? The UE3 is more than flexible enough to completely blow what Tribes could offer out of the water – and then some. It all really comes down to developer skill in using it.

    • BabelFish says:

      He’s right. The unreal engine, especially the unreal 3 engine, is built for small-scale or corridor shooters. The more you try to pull that engine out of it’s happy place the harder it is to work with.

      Sure you CAN do large-scale games with it, but it’s like trying to drive nails with a pickaxe: wrong tool for the job.

  24. Dawngreeter says:

    I really don’t want to be the doom-and-gloom asshole commentator with this, but… this really doesn’t paint a nice picture for the future of Global Agenda, does it? I really hoped it’d shape up over time to be a more massive game. Guess that’s not going to happen now.

  25. Songbearer says:

    Eat my awesome Shazbot!

  26. Footkerchief says:

    A Tribes MMO has always been a no-brainer — it’s always had large maps and high player counts, and the equipment loadouts aren’t far from real character customization. The sadly underutilized command console would probably work better in an MMO.

    I’m expecting them to fall through on technical stuff (lag) and flavor, though.

  27. rock says:

    Nice to see crash and zhou here posting! Lets just hope they look to where the other tribes games failed to start a solid foundation for this new journey. cough-buckler-cough