SMITE NA Championship: The Business of Hi-Rez Studios

lh_smite_business_of_hirez_championshipLore Hound has had the pleasure of covering Hi-Rez Studios since it was a fledgling little indie tucked away in a corner of PAX. At the time it was showcasing an ambitious third-person class-based shooter by the name of Global Agenda. Launched and heavily updated, it never took off. Purchasing the much loved Tribes intellectual property and the release of Tribes: Ascend followed next. During this time was the rise of MOBAs, leading to SMITE being created as a third-person MOBA in the Unreal engine. And all this time Lore Hound grew beside them.

The business of a gaming website, hobby, professional, whatever, is fairly straightforward. First you get the hits, then you get the ads, then you get the money. For most gaming studios we’re left with a rather vague rendition of have an idea -> ??? -> $$$! During this weekend’s SMITE NA Championship we hoodwinked Todd Harris, the COO of Hi-Rez Studios, to address some burning questions that has led to the rise of SMITE as one of the first MOBAs featuring a championship with a purse over $1 million and counting.

In reality, we’re just trying to get on the bandwagon to that last step and thought these risk takers may be of a little help. After all, we’re still that little gaming website in a small corner of the Internet moving along the ranks slow and steady. This tortoise may just be a little jealous of that rabbit hosting a tournament likely to exceed $2 million. Why else head to Atlanta (*zing*)?

Hit the jump for the full interview covering all three titles, the prospects on Global Agenda 2 and how the company itself has changed in these ensuing years.