Barely three months after announcing Smite Rivals [official site], Hi-Rez Studios have confirmed that the game is now on indefinite hold. It’s a free-to-play spin-off from their MOBA Smite, turning the mythological action into a real-time lane-pushing card game. Don’t confuse it with Smite Tactics, their Duelyst-ish turn-based CCG, which is still rolling but a bit bum according to Brendan. Rivals did look designed around pocket telephones but a PC release was coming too. So why are Hi-Rez putting Smite Rivals on ice? Because it wasn’t that good and they’re focusing on Tactics, they say.
Hi-Rez said in a statement yesterday:
“We made a decision to put Smite Rivals on hold. While we are still excited by the general concept of Smite Rivals, it was clear after early testing that the game needs significant addition development before releasing. With Smite Tactics, our turn-based strategy game set in the Smite Universe, performing well, we have decided to focus our energies on that for the time being.”
At a glance, Smite Rivals looks a lot like Supercell’s mega-hit mobile game Clash Royale. Like, an awful lot. But being a lookalike does Rivals a disservice, Pip thought when she played a bit. She said:
“When it comes to Rivals I do think that the game plays significantly differently and it scratches a different itch to Clash Royale. I really like the addition of the gods to the decks and making it so the units only spawn at one point in the lane means a different kind of tactical thinking is required. I have that urge to figure out deck builds and make characters I’m fond of ‘work’, even though I’ve led them to some hideous defeats at the Hi-Rez Expo.
“But I also find myself thinking ‘Why didn’t you go cutesy but in a different way so this wasn’t even a question?’ It bothers me that, when I feel a game can stand on its own mechanically, the other choices seem to actively get in the way of that success. Or at least require me to keep pointing out differences.”
Who knows what Smite Rivals will be or look like when we next see it? If we see it.