Previously plucky independent studio Hypixel are plucky no more, having been bought by moneybags League Of Legends developer Riot Games. The Hytale creators will now be setting up their first permanent studio in Derry, Northern Ireland, before cracking on with their upcoming blocky RPG.
There was already a pre-existing relationship between the two, with Riot being one of the studio’s angel investors. That relationship grew over the past few years, and reached this new conclusion this week.
Hypixel’s Aaron ‘Noxy’ Donaghey, who becomes the CEO of Hypixel Studios, said in a press release: "Since our first meetings with Riot leadership long before their initial investment, we’ve found in Riot a partner with a similar commitment to empowering players. As development kicks into high gear, we’ll benefit from Riot’s resources, expertise, and experience while maintaining the operational independence that has enabled our success so far."
“We’ll continue to operate in the same way as we have before, but Riot will become our parent company and we’ll gain access to their expertise and resources. This means a bigger budget for Hytale, more security for our team, and advisory support from a company that knows how to launch and operate successful, long-running games.”
Here's what got Riot Games, along with 55 million others, so interested.
It's currently scheduled for release sometime in 2021, and I've developed a close interest in the since it was announced. I might actually have a crush on it.
Riot have recently been busy releasing games they've developed internally, too. After a decade focused on League Of Legends, in the past year they've shipped Teamfight Tactics, Legends Of Runeterra and, last week, the closed beta of Valorant. They also remain associated with a reported workplace culture of harassment and exclusion, the fallout from which has led to a still-ongoing legal action.