After starting out under ye olde subscription model with their first game, Global Agenda, Hi-Rez Studios turned it free-to-play and have stuck that way since. Over-the-shoulder MOBA Smite was the first game of theirs that seemed to really take off (poor, dear, sweet Tribes: Ascend, left to fade away). Now they've announced another F2P game, and another FPS - a fantasy "strategic team-based shooter" named Paladins [official site].
It sounds a bit MOBA-y to me. This being Gamescom week, they don't have much to say about Paladins just yet but will be yammering all about and showing everyone in a few days.
Hi-Rez explained in last night's announcement:
"In Paladins, teams are pitted against one another. Each combatant enters the battle with a primary weapon, a set of combat and movement abilities, and a personal mount to carry them quickly from one fight to the next. Players begin each match with a customizable deck of skill cards which can be activated and evolved upon leveling up in-match for enhanced strength, defense or utility throughout the session."
Sounds a bit MOBA-y, doesn't it? One could crudely point out bits of that description which appear in other games, but it'd be a bit reductive. So, instead let's say that it'll be interesting to see how it shapes up against Blizzard's MOBA-tinged FPS Overwatch and Gearbox's own Battleborn. MOBAs are pretty dang influential at the moment, and shards of the genre are turning up in all sorts of games.
Paladins is due to launch in 2016. You can see a few characters and sign up for the upcoming closed beta on its site.