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Hi-Rez CEO: Without SMITE, Tribes would have 'closed down'

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Hi-Rez co-founder and CEO Erez Goren took to Reddit yesterday to deliver a message about his studio's history and its plans for the future. Discussed in the post were challenges of making a profitable game (Global Agenda, for example, lost money throughout its lifespan) and some of the reasoning behind recent decisions made by Hi-Rez about its biggest titles.

On the subject of Tribes Ascend, Goren explained that the decision to go free-to-play was made in an effort to give fans easy access to the game. Goren noted that the game broke even "at best," though some financial concerns may have been the result of poor monetization strategies. According to Goren, Tribes Ascend launched to good reviews and a positive community response, but nothing Hi-Rez did could stop players from leaving the game over time.

Goren also answered calls for mod tools and accusations that Tribes development was shuttered due to the success of the studio's new MOBA, SMITE. Goren explained that Hi-Rez's development platform does not support modding and that developing the feature set would represent a massive cost to the company, and noted that without the successful development of SMITE, Tribes likely would have been shut down along with the studio itself.

According to Goren, the success of SMITE is "very unusual" but has allowed Hi-Rez to expand its team and to find financial stability. Hi-Rez feels as though the future of SMITE is bright, and is dedicated to making it "the best MOBA game in the world" through continued development and partnerships with publishers like TenCent.

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