News came out of Gamecom 2014 early this morning that touched the MOBA community in a sensitive spot. Yes, the no, no spot; consoles. Hi-Rez Studios will be bringing its god-based third-person massive online battle arena to Xbox One. Everybody okay, because Reddit wasn’t. Twitter was none too happy as well. But that’s a bit expected from the hyperbole of gamedom. The world is not over. Yes, the F2P community of SMITE will change as will development. The thing is, as with money from Tencent and Level Up, this only vets how much people like SMITE, your game, and will soon be a part of it.
Now before I slip into a rebuttal to the hyperbole that is part of the discussion there are some justifiable concerns, or to some extent, lack of details, that the community would like cleared up. For instance, please confirm that the title won’t be cross platform. Really, that’s an anticipated fairness. Along those lines one hopes that the Xbox has if not it’s own small team then some people dedicated to it so as not to impact overall development with the port. This includes not delaying patches to the tedious Microsoft review process. You should see a trend of the most obvious concerns and an easy way to address them; outside the actual gameplay and community elements, keep the titles separate.
Assuming these chips fall into place the announcement is a glorious one. It opens up the title to more players, garnering access to a larger community across multiple platforms. The Xbox One has never had a MOBA, thus allowing the entire genre to be offered to an untapped horde of gamers. Let us not forget more money. More money for Hi-Rez Studios, more scratch for pro gaming tournaments (either platform!), higher production and more dough for weekly tournies. More benjies benefit everyone with a bigger, badder, better tested, better supported SMITE.
My above defense notwithstanding, I’ve my own large concern; the handling of balance changes. It’s very real that the separate platforms, communities and control schemes will provide the balance team with unique information. Which side do they listen to? For that, I hope the PC platform is given the “lead” tag and all is resolved on that end. Otherwise a SMITE on Xbox One could end up as a related but not equally balanced SMITE on PC.
To sum it up in less than 140 characters:
Smite for the xboxone? I’m excited and not at the same time! Due to the fact that smite updates a lot and to update on xbox it’s expensive
— ( ͡ಠ ͜ʖಠ)Senpapi Sly (@SlyFoxHound) August 12, 2014