Hi-Rez founder addresses "misinformed" critics

Erez Goren details losses incurred from development of Global Agenda and Tribes

Hi-Rez Studios co-founder Erez Goren has taken to Reddit to address what he believes are "misinformed conclusions" about the company and its products.

In a strikingly candid post, Goren detailed the performance of the company's first two projects: Global Agenda and Tribes: Ascend, both free-to-play online shooters.

According to Goren, both games were financial failures, costing more to operate than they made in revenue as players steadily deserted them. Goren estimates that Hi-Rez spent $30 million in funding on development, and made only $10 million in sales.

"The first and most important thing to note is that most games fail...some games break even, and a tiny number of games are very successful," Goren wrote. "That's the nature of the gaming industry. So for every WoW, LoL, CoD, and TF2 there are hundreds of games that are dead."

However, the company's latest project, Smite, seems to mark a turnaround in its fortunes. It is still in open beta, but Goren claims that its audience is growing every month and it is turning a profit. More importantly, Hi-Rez has signed a publishing deal for Smite with Tencent - something it struggled to achieve with its other games.

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Latest comments (5)

Sam Maxted Journalist / Community / Support 7 years ago
It is still in open beta, but Goren claims that its audience is growing every month and it is turning a profit.
They can call it a beta, but if they're charging for stuff then the game's been released.
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Brian Lewis Operations Manager, PlayNext7 years ago
If they are taking money, and providing goods/services then it is 'commercial'. It can still be Alpha/Beta/ or whatever. 'Release' is a status development, that does not necessarily correspond with commercial status, and may not ever apply.
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Sam Maxted Journalist / Community / Support 7 years ago
That may well be Aeria Games' take on it, but - I'm afraid to say - it's not the general public's.
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Nicholas Pantazis Senior Editor, VGChartz Ltd7 years ago
@ Sam No it actually is... you can have a Commercial Beta or Commercial Alpha. In fact that's what Steam's "Early Access" program is. Beta and Alpha are measures of a product's development status, not whether or not it's making money. Minecraft being the preeminent example.
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Adam Jordan Community Management/Moderation 7 years ago
You can still charge for things in a beta, it's not a case of Aeria Games' take on it or any specific person's or companies' take on it. The simple case is, you can charge for things in a beta, as long as there is an option to say "yes or no". In other words, most betas don't force people to buy things but if they want to give the choice to possible people that want to support the game and the developers then they can do so.

Surely Kickstarter would be a failure if you are going to go that far considering not only do you not have a working beta when the concept is put forward but you are buying categories of "promises" until they are fulfilled. At least with betas that charge, you are getting something (Hope my point is getting across)

On the flipside of the article itself...personally I am not a fan of Hi-Rez due to the way they handled Global Agenda, it left a foul taste but friends of mine jumped into Tribes: ascend and enjoyed it, however they mentioned that you only had to spend 50 and you had most, if not all content in the game.

Going on that information, I would say their monetization plans were set too low or didn't go according to plan, essentially things were "too free" which basically means players love the game but aren't spending much on it or if they are then they are paying once and getting most content already.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Adam Jordan on 14th September 2013 7:46pm

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