Paladins Gets Crossplay, Smite And Realm Royale Coming Soon

Paladins, made by Hi-Rez Studios, has started supporting crossplay between PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Their other two titles, Smite, and Realm Royale, will be introducing the same compatibility soon. 

What Hi-Rez Studios games are coming to crossplay?

Paladins is Hi-Rez Studios’ free-to-play answer to Blizzard’s Overwatch. With tons of playable characters, it includes mores like Siege, which are all about “pushing the payload”. Modes like this are very familiar to Overwatch players, alongside Team Deathmatch and the objective-based Onslaught.

Rounding out the list of “popular genres” is Hi-Rez Studios’ Smite, which tackles MOBAs, not unlike Dota 2 and League of Legends. Smite takes a unique spin to the roster, however, and has an entire pantheon of gods that are battling. From Zeus to Anubis, the character selection is incredibly thorough. Realm Royale, on the other hand, takes on the popular Battle Royale genre, using the world of Paladins as its backdrop. In any case, all three games are free-to-play.

What does this mean for the future of crossplay?

This crossplay move can be considered more of a blip on the grand scale of things. But, it shows that developers and their communities want unification when it comes to playing with each other. Sony has been notoriously stingy about sharing with other brands. Worth noting is that some games under the Epic Games mentality have found ways around it, such as Fortnite and Dauntless. Even games like Brawlhalla have added crossplay support.

It’s not only free games that are getting into crossplay. Microsoft’s Minecraft offers crossplay support on nearly any system you can think of, while Rocket League fully implemented (e.g. PS4 included) the feature back in January. The upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will even have crossplay for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. 

Paladins joined cross play this week, but Smite and Realm Royale are still in the process of being implemented. While no release date has been given as of yet, it’ll likely be in the very near future.

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Esports Medical Program Started for Smite Pros

You may not think that playing games is a physically demanding sport, in fact, many would be hesitant to call it a sport at all. But, for the professionals who are practicing up to 16 hours a day, it is physically draining. Injuries in professional gamers are a very serious problem and now, thanks to Skillshot Media and the Northside Hospital Sports Medicine Network Smite and Paladin pros will be able to have those injuries taken care of by experts. The two companies have teamed up to create an esports medical program to look after the professional gamers.

Thanks to the new program pro gamers will have access to pre-performance screenings, endurance training, sports nutrition training, a team/league doctor, access to experts for physical and mental health management, and an injury training room.

Talking about the new program Todd Harris, Co-founder of Hi-Rez and President of Skillshot Media had this to say.

“In discussions with the Northside Hospital Sports Medicine Network, it became clear that they are not only taking early notice of the rising trend of esports injuries, but also aspire to serve our pro players just like athletes in traditional sports – benefiting from nutrition, exercise, rest, and best practices for optimizing performance and prolonging careers. We are thrilled to partner with Northside to provide complementary injury-prevention services for our players and also share ongoing research with the broader esports community.”


Dr. Vonda Wright MD, an orthopedic surgeon and chief of Northside Hospital Sports Medicine Network added this.

“As the convergence of technology expands our definitions of ‘athletes and competition,’ Northside Sports Medicine is proud to step into this unique role. Through preventive care and innovative research, we hope to maximize performance while minimizing injury for these pro players, while setting a standard of care for esports athletes at every level.”


The field of esports medicine is a growing one, in fact, it was just last week that team Magic Gaming signed a sponsorship and health service deal with regional healthcare network Orlando Health. It’s likely that we will see more of this happening in the future


Source: The Esports Observer

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Hi-Rez Community Manager Arrested in Child Sex Sting

While much of the United States was sitting down to watch the Superbowl last weekend a series of arrests were being made across the Atlanta area, including the arrest of a Hi-Rez community manager. Thomas Cheung was one of 21 people arrested over a five day period in what was called Operation Interception. He has been charged with “using a computer service to seduce, solicit, lure, or entice a child to commit an illegal act.” More charges may come in the future.

The sting was part of several months of planning between various agencies who were arresting “persons who communicate with children on-line, have sexually explicit conversations, and then travel to meet them for the purpose of having sex.” This is according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Smite has passed 20 million players

Hi-Rez made the following statement to Variety who originally reported on the news.

“On Monday, February 4th, we learned through local news that Thomas Cheung was arrested in an operation by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.

At this point, we know only what has been reported in the local news and by local law enforcement, and cannot comment on specifics of Mr. Cheung’s case, other than to say that, as of today, Mr. Cheung is no longer employed by Hi-Rez Studios.

As a parent, it is difficult to imagine more disturbing allegations than those laid out in the news reports. We commend the efforts of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations and other law enforcement to protect our state’s children and to send a strong message that the behavior targeted in their Operation Interception will not be tolerated in Georgia.”

He worked for Hi-Rez as a community manager on both Smite and Paladins for almost a year. He was also a Twitch Partner but since his arrest, his page has been suspended.

We will be following this story for any updates.


Source: Variety

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Hi-Rez Founds Sub-Studios to Handle its Existing Titles

Hi-Rez Studios has its fingers in a lot of different pies, all of which are pies of their own baking. However, it looks like they’re hoping to reach their fingers out to different games industry pies…

Okay, this analogy has gone off the rails a bit. What I’m getting at is there are new Hi-Rez sub-studios being opened which will handle all of the company’s existing titles and free up the parent company to expand its publishing reach.

hi-rez sub-studios

Hi-Rez has opened three satellite studios:

  • Titan Forge Games, which will handle Smite;
  • Evil Mojo Games, which will manage Paladins;
  • And Heroic Leap Games, which will steer the Realm Royale ship.

Smite and Paladins executive producer Chris Larson has been tapped to be the general manager for all three of these new ventures, while the original staff of each game will transition to their respective studios and even be open to hiring new staff to further bolster development of each title.

As for Hi-Rez itself, it will now offer two service companies in a bid to increase its outreach to potential partners. These service companies consist of Skillshot Media, which seeks to build esports player communities; and Alacrity Arthouse, which will offer technical services such as art, FX, 3D animation, cinematic video creation and more.

“Our new Hi-Rez Publishing Group is designed as a service organization, whose sole mission is to enable each of our partner studios to reach their full potential and best serve their respective gamer communities,” said Hi-Rez president Stew Chisam. “By structuring ourselves in this manner, we allow the organization to scale to multiple games more easily, while ensuring our existing game communities receive a better, more focused service than ever before.”

Our Thoughts

We certainly like the idea of these new sub-studios potentially providing more focused development of Hi-Rez’s existing titles. If all of this means more significant updates to each game, then this can only mean good things for fans.

Source: press release

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Paladins Makes its Free to Play Launch on Switch

The Nintendo Switch is getting some fresh, team-based FPS action in the form of the Paladins free to play Switch launch after what has been a reportedly successful round of beta testing while also breaking down the Founder’s Pack paywall.

paladins free to play switch launch

“We are thrilled that so many members of the Nintendo Switch community have already entered the Realm and fallen in love with Paladins,” noted executive producer Chris Larson. “It’s incredibly exciting to open the gates and welcome all Nintendo Switch players to Paladins.”

That open launch has cleared what is likely presumed to be a number of technical hurdles as the fast-paced shooter operates at a clean 60 FPS in either docked or undocked mode. The Nintendo Switch edition will also feature cross-platform play between Switch and Xbox One owners.

In addition to the Nintendo Switch launch, Paladins overall has kicked out its latest Flanker hero Koga, a ninja-styled aggressor that dual-wields claws and SMGs, as well as a new Battle Pass full of ninja and Easter-themed cosmetics. This new Battle Pass also improves from the last pass with more rewards, 25% less completion time, and an additional month to unlock the shiny.

Those looking for some Switch-based hero shootin’ can snag the game on the Nintendo eShop now.

Our Thoughts

Pretty much everything about Paladins on Switch sounds like a win, from the framerate to the cross-play to the overall form factor of the system that lives for quick-hitting games like Paladins. Who needs Overwatch?

Source: press release

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Paladins Announces a Nintendo Switch Release

Surprise! Hi-Rez Studios has pulled a left-field reveal and announced a Paladins Nintendo Switch release isn’t just coming, it’s coming in slightly less than a week. The announcement also has offered a little more details on features and functions for the Switch version that the devs hope will continue to impress.

paladins nintendo switch

According to the announcement, in-house refinements made to the studio’s version of Unreal Engine 3 means that the Nintendo Switch version of the team-based shooter will operate at 60 FPS. Additionally, players on the Switch will be able to enjoy cross-platform play between themselves and Xbox One players.

As for the game itself, everything else is, naturally, intact; all the heroes, the class-based gameplay, the maps, and the game’s Card System to empower the loadout of their chosen character. “Players will experience the same fantastic team-based shooter gameplay they know and love in Paladins, now in the palms of their hands,” promises executive producer Chris Larson.

Paladins on Nintendo Switch will arrive on Tuesday, June 12th in early access to Founders. Purchase of a Founder’s Pack will also unlock every current and future Champion in the game along with several exclusive cosmetics. If you’d rather wait it out, the game will officially launch as a free-to-play title later this summer.

Our Thoughts

I’m going to be a heretic and contrarian here, but I’ll go ahead and say it anyway because I’ve already been accused of having crappy opinions: Paladins is a better hero shooter than Overwatch, and I’m really excited that it’s making its way to the Nintendo Switch. And with a bit of cross-platform play to boot! Here’s hoping that feature gets extended further.

Source: press release

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Listed: Battle Royale Games You Need to Check Out

Everything these days seems to be getting a Battle Royale mode as game companies chase the current big thing. From the classic execution of it all to new and unique spins, it won’t be long before everything is a Battle Royale. This will have interesting effects on commutes leaving those of us playing at home the sole survivors in the world. So warm up your chicken dinner and let’s look at some of the options out there.



PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, most commonly known as PUBG and I refuse to ever refer to it as PlUnkBat. Plunkbats are something you might pick up in Fortnite to cave someone’s head in so let’s avoid that, shall we? There’s enough going on between them as it is.

PUBG is the granddaddy battle royale game of this article and is published by the PUBG Corporation, a subsidiary of publisher Bluehole. You have seen it or played it. If you haven’t someone you know has. PUBG has been the driver between the sudden explosion of interest in the Battle Royale genre and the Chinese “chicken eating game” clones. So if you need to blame anyone, this is where you would start.


Fortnite Battle Royale

Fortnite started out as a co-op sandbox survival game, really trying to capitalize on the last big “thing” in video games despite being…well… very late to that particular party. It only could have been later if it had been a MOBA. However, with the introduction of the Battle Royale aspect, Fortnite has had a meteoric rise in every possible venue. It’s on mobile, it’s on PC and consoles. It’s even on PornHub.

Cartoonish graphics, no upfront cost and an omnipresence that most other games can only dream about. What more needs to be said?


Battlerite Royale

Given that I just mentioned MOBAs, it’s probably fitting that we talk about Battlerite: Royale. Battlerite Royale is an upcoming mode for the team-based arena brawler. They’re aiming to leverage their MOBA roots and the heroes from the standalone game into a unique aspect for the battle royale genre. The new mode isn’t available yet, keep your eyes peeled this summer for its release or maybe try picking up the MOBA version to get to grips with your favorite hero ahead of time.


Paladins: Battle Royale

Of course, Battlerite isn’t the only game wandering out of its genre. Paladins Battle Royale is a 100-player battle royale standalone expansion of Paladins: Champions of the Realm. Alternatively, it might be called Paladins: Battlegrounds or Realm Royale. Someone needs to pay Hi-Rez a visit and pin them down on a definitive name. How the mechanics of hero shooters like Overwatch and Paladins will work in a battle royale arena remain to be properly seen. Again, this is one that is on the horizon so be sure to check back for more details.


Radical Heights Trove

Replacing Radical Heights on this list we have Trove. If you haven’t heard Boss Key Productions, the makers of Radical Heights very suddenly shut down. Around the same time, Trove announced that they were introducing a Battle Royale mode. Trove is calling it Bomber Royale and it will feature 3 different maps. Each match has 20 players and the big twist for this game is that bombs are the only weapons available. The mode will be arriving in game this summer as part of the MMO’s big update.



H1Z1: King of the Kill

H1Z1 has had a hell of a path. It started out as one of the many Zombie survival games, you know two or three “this is what games are now” trends ago. Credit where credit is due though, they split early on into H1Z1: Just Survive and H1Z1: King of the Kill respectively allowing each mode to really focus. Since then Just Survive has dropped the H1Z1 name and the Battle Royale version is now the sole holder of the H1Z1 name. You can expect to see more talk about H1Z1 in the news over the coming weeks. Hopefully, the talk will be more focused on the Playstation 4 release this month instead of the issues around Daybreak Games.




SOS is smaller than other battle royale games. The others mostly clock in around the 100 player mark with H1Z1 going for 150 a match. SOS settles for 16 players but naturally with a twist. SOS is “simple” in as much as you are trying to find a relic then signal for extraction. However, with sixteen Contestants and only three seats on the helicopter things start to get hairy. To add to the experience, each game is broadcast live online via the social gaming platform Hero, with spectators voting on possible in-game events like supply drops or bombing runs. If you plan to play, make sure your microphone is working and that you’re ready with some slick talk or a devious plan. SOS is available now in Early Access.


Mavericks: Proving Grounds

Mavericks: Proving Grounds

From one extreme to another. SOS brought the battle down to an intimate number with 16 people wrestling to survive. Mavericks: Proving Grounds has a beta coming this summer and is a first-person battle royale game where up to 400 players are all going for one another’s throats. The spin here isn’t just the much larger number of vict…players but rather dynamic environmental effects such as footprints, realistic wildfires, and destroyable, siegeable buildings which hope to deepen the battle royale experience. After all, there’s no chicken dinner at the end for the idiots who let themselves get caught behind in a forest fire while you go for the win. Only time will tell if it can deliver on all that it promises but it will definitely be worth a look.


The Darwin Project

The Darwin Project is a multiplayer survivalist manhunt from Scavengers Studio. As preparation for an impending Ice Age, a new project, half science experiment half live-entertainment, is launched which is how you really get your post-apocalypse on. Where PUBG was inspired by the movie Battle Royale, this one feels like it decided to take The Hunger Games and ramp up the grimdark.

Both The Darwin Project and SOS look to be leaning more on those key moments in a battle royale, the heart-pounding ones that you don’t always get to have because someone sniped you from a distance. Clearly, the bad guys in The Hunger Games came from a world without Twitch Streaming.


So there you have it, Battle Royale games worth a look: some coming up, some well known to everyone around you and some whose twist on the genre that may well start the next big gaming trend. Hopefully, it will be as exciting as earning that chicken dinner.

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Paladins Officially Launches on May 8

If a game with a long-running open beta like Paladins can do it, then surely almost any other title can. Yes, after 70 open beta content patches and more than a few moments of self-engineered drama, May 8th will be the final Paladins release date.

paladins release date

The devs of Hi-Rez will be celebrating the final launch of Paladins with in-game events and giveaways for their beta testers. Starting today, May 2nd until the day before launch on May 7th, every hero in the Paladins roster will be unlocked. After that, every player in the game’s beta will be getting 200 Crystals for free if they log in between May 8th and May 31st.

The celebration will also be marked on the esports side of things as Paladins will be hosting a launch tournament at the Esports Arena Las Vegas on May 5th and 6th. Six of the best Paladins teams will be squaring off for a $100k prize pool.

More is being planned for Paladins’ launch celebration, with promises of contests, broadcasts, giveaways, videos, and in-game events. In the meantime, Paladins remains a free-to-play title all the way through launch. A trailer for the launch date has been shared and can be seen below.

Our Thoughts

It honestly feels like Paladins has been in a state of open beta/early access forever and was just never going to drop the open beta title, so we’re glad that the game is finally ready for primetime. Our heartfelt congratulations to the Paladins team at Hi-Rez. We hope that Paladins will continue to build a fanbase in what’s otherwise an extremely crowded multiplayer gaming sub-genre.

Source: press release

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Paladins Gets a Battle Pass in OB70

With Paladins OB70 just around the corner, some new things are certainly to be expected. One of the headlining new things is the inclusion of a Battle Pass, which will let players of the team-based FPS earn unique cosmetic rewards simply by playing the game.

paladins ob70

If you’ve ever gotten a Battle Pass for games like Fortnite Battle Royale, you pretty much know the deal: play the game, earn different level milestones for the Battle Pass, unlock shinies. The Pass rewards players with 50 levels’ worth of unique hero skins, animated sprays, and mounts such as the Mecha Prowler seen above.

Three Battle Passes will be issued through 2018, with each Pass being active for about three months. The Battle Pass does have a free-to-play reward track, but those who buy a Pass with 500 Crystals will unlock additional rewards with each level. There’s also a Season Pass purchase on offer, which will unlock all three of 2018’s Battle Passes at a bundled discount.

OB70 will also bring a Champions Pack to the game’s store, which replaces the beta-only Founder’s Pack and unlocks all current and future heroes; the close of the Siege of Ascension Peak event; and a number of other smaller adjustments. It all lands to the game on Wednesday, April 25th. Patch notes are here.

Our Thoughts

We do like the idea of having a free track for this particular Battle Pass, though whether the rewards for that track are worth less than the one you’d pay for with Crystals will be up to personal player preference. Overall, though, these sorts of features seem to be popular with shooter fans and so we hope that Paladins players are similarly pleased.

Source: press release

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First Look at Paladins: Realm Royale

Hi-Rez has been hard at work on their battle royale game Paladins: Realm Royale. It was originally announced as Battlegrounds in Paladins but after a month developers decided to rename it and split it off as its own game. With that came what Hi-Rez called aggressive changes which meant that it had to stop player testing for a while. But now it’s back and over the weekend some lucky players got to try out the closed alpha. This closed alpha didn’t allow any streaming, reviewing, photos, or anything else so the information on it is a little bit thin.

That is with the exception of what Hi-Rez included in their FAQ on the closed alpha on the official forums. Specifically, we got a look at how to forge legendary weapons. Forging gives players a reason to pick up gear they would normally ignore. Gear that isn’t being used can be dismantled, which gives you Shards. Once you have 100 shards you can take them to a forge. After two minutes the shards become a random legendary weapon or ability.

It’s an interesting system that gives players something to do with the loot they don’t end up using. There isn’t any indication of how long it might take a player to get 100 shards. So it is still possible that you end up stuck with something you don’t want. But hey, at least it’s a legendary useless item! Also, there aren’t many forges, so it is possible that players will end up camping out nearby in the hopes of catching someone. So a trip to the forge isn’t without risk.

While the keys for this weekend’s closed alpha event went very quickly Hi-Rez has already said that there will be plenty more opportunities in the future for players to try things out. So if you’re interested keep an eye out on social media and the official site.

Source: Official Forums via PCGamer

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