MOBA SMITE Offer $50 Bundle for Free

MMO powerhouse SMITE: Battleground of the Gods is a free-to-play MOBA in which gods fight to the death. If that isn’t reason enough to immediately get a hold of this game, then perhaps the latest bundle offering by publishers Hi-Rez will convince you to give it a try.

As of 28th April, the beloved MOBA is now the first and currently only game of its genre available on the Epic Games Store – a marketplace created by the brains behind industry giant, Fortnite. 

To celebrate this landmark occasion, Hi-Rez are piling on a heap of perks as a treat for both new and veteran players, including:

  • A bundle containing $50 worth of in-game content for SMITE available for free to new and returning players through the Epic Games store. 
  • A month-long sale for the two most popular bundles in SMITE in the Epic Games store. Namely, the Ultimate God Pack at $14.99 50% off and the Digital Deluxe Edition at $47.99 20% off.  
  • Triple the standard amount for the Support-a-Creator program revenue share – now at 15% of all purchases. 
  • Cross-Play & Cross-Progression are activated between the Epic Games Store and other SMITE platforms. 

The announcement even comes with its own trailer which you can take a look at below:

Fans of the genre are probably already well aware of this popular title, though if you’ve been waiting for a reason to give it a shot then here it is. For those who are unfamiliar – here’s a handy beginner’s guide page to get you started. Then head on over to the Epic Games store to get stuck in. 

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Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics, the Smite Tactical Card Game is Shutting Down

Its been a while since we’ve heard any news from Hi-Rez and now that we have it’s only bad news. The Smite Tactical Card Game Hand of the Gods: Smite Tactics is shutting down on January 1st 2020. This was announced via Twitter and fan reaction was sad, but not surprised. The game has undergone a number of changes throughout its development and many of the fans who enjoyed the game lost their love for it over time.

As a thank you for fan’s time spent, and to make the rest of the time the game is live more enjoyable Hi-Rez is giving everyone 100,000 runes.

Hand of the Gods launched February 20, 2018 which means that sadly the game won’t make it 2 years being live. It first appeared as an Early Access title in 2017.


There was also news about Smite, good news though. Persephone, Goddess of the Underworld has been added to the Smite pantheon. She’s the first God to be added to the game since April. From the sound of it she’s a pretty complex character. She’s a mage with powerful long-distance attacks, the ability to summon plants, and she can plant seeds that can revive her if enough are collected. As always to help you get an idea of how Persephone plays Hi-Rez has released a God Reveal video. It’s nearly 5 minutes long and has a lot of information to take in.


This Persephone is nothing like the one from Punderworld. She’s a dark and vicious fighter. So really, she fits right in with the Smite pantheon.


Source: Twitter, Press Release

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New Smite Game, Smite Blitz Announced by Hi-Rez

The height of the MOBA craze seems like it was forever ago. How often do you hear people talking about LoL, DOTA, or Smite anymore? Well, Hi-Rez, the makers of Smite haven’t forgotten and now they’ve announced new game set in an alternate Smite universe called Smite Blitz.

Smite Blitz is a mythology-themed action RPG with story, challenge, and PvP modes. It will launch with 60 Gods available and many more to come at launch. The game will be playable on iOS and Android, in fact, it is available in Technical Alpha for both right now. If you want the opportunity to take part in the Technical Alpha you’ll need to sign up for Hi-Rez Labs, the volunteer playtesting program for things in development by Hi-Rez.

Here’s what the press release announcing the game had to say about the gameplay.

SMITE Blitz allows players to form squads from their collection of gods from multiple pantheons and create the ultimate team to tackle the variety of challenges SMITE Blitz has to offer. Through simple core gameplay, a depth of content to explore and with a brand new visual style, people both familiar and new to the SMITE universe can experience SMITE Blitz to its full extent.

“No other mobile RPG offers players the chance to control legendary gods in the palm of their hands from so many different pantheons!” said SMITE Blitz Associate Producer, Logan Cooper. “Bringing the world of SMITE to mobile devices has opened up opportunities for new gameplay experiences beyond competitive gaming that fans of the game have been keen for us to continue to explore, while opening it up to players that may not have had the chance to experience the epic stories from across mythology that only SMITE can provide. We’re excited to welcome players to SMITE Blitz and can’t wait to see how their adventures unfold.”


Source: Press Release

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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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Smite is Headed to Nintendo Switch

I don’t know about you folks, but for a while my gaming-related social media feeds seemed to be coated with the running gag of how every game should arrive to the Nintendo Switch. It would appear that Hi-Rez has taken that joke to heart and announced a Smite Nintendo Switch release. Go figure.

smite nintendo switch

Much like the Nintendo Switch edition of Paladins, Smite will feature 60 FPS gameplay along with cross-platform multiplayer and cross-platform character progression. According to a report from Massively Overpowered, all other Hi-Rez games are opening up their cross-platform options as well, including current and future consoles.

Smite will likely release as a free-to-play title, but for now there is a Founder’s Pack on offer today that unlocks every god in the game currently available and coming down the pipe. It also adds 400 Gems, two skins – one of which is unique to the Nintendo Switch – and access to the closed beta.

Closed beta/early access will begin on January 24, while the full launch has yet to get a date.

Our Thoughts

Clearly, Hi-Rez Studios is keen to have their games on as many platforms as possible. We’re also hard pressed to think of many MOBAs on the Nintendo Switch, and the plans to further expand cross-platform multiplayer is pretty excellent news. All in all, positive stuff for Smite fans.

Sources: official site, Massively Overpowered

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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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Smite Gets Demonic in the Lord of Darkness Update

Things in Smite are getting a lot more demonic with today’s arrival of the Lord of Darkness update. Patch 5.8 of Smite on introduces an all-new member of the Slavic pantheon and literally kicks off Ragnarok with the Divine Uprising event.

lord of darkness update

Meet Chernobog, the Slavic lord of darkness and newest addition to Smite’s battle. Chernobog hurls damaging crystals that slow foes and can turn into a shadow form that lets him merge against a wall for a few moments. His Ultimate, Living Nightmare, summons shadows at the location of all enemies that slow their targets and can be teleported to, refreshing his cooldowns and giving him several buffs in the process.

Naturally, the arrival of a lord of darkness usually isn’t a portent to great things. So it is with update 5.8’s start of the apocalyptic Divine Uprising event. The new event will eventually introduce another two pantheons to Smite and offers a number of skin rewards for those who clear its chapters.

The update also brings a number of additional skins to existing gods, a tutorial update, and a variety of item and god balance adjustments. Complete patch notes can be read here.

Our Thoughts

Spoooky. In all honesty, though, kicking off a god-level apocalypse is a pretty good way to make sure the fights between the pantheons keep going and get a few extra stakes. We hope that players enjoy the new event and have fun with the demonic new arrival.

Source: official site

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SMITE Goes Anime with a Limited Time Horde Mode

It would seem that all of the big MOBA creators started watching anime on Netflix at around the same time. It’s the best explanation I can come up with for the upcoming SMITE anime mode that will be arriving in the next few days.

smite anime mode

The new anime adventure is called Legend of the Foxes, which transforms Ratatoskr into a token adorable anime cutie and Da Ji into Senpai Da Ji, who will be voiced by actress Cristina Vee. The new mode will also take place in a bespoke arena that features a brightened color palette and a cel-shaded art style for maximum anime-ness.

In the mode, players will need to stave off waves of attacking ninja to protect the sacred foxes. Survive long enough and you’ll face off against a final epic boss. Each match of the new mode will play differently as different bosses will randomly arrive. Your reward for protecting the fluffy foxes (besides presumed hugs) will be levels and in-game rewards, including the chance to unlock one of four new skins for Ratatoskr.

Legend of the Foxes is due to arrive to PC players on Tuesday, February 13th and console players Friday, February 16th. The mode will run through patches 5.2, 5.3 and 5.4 and will introduce new bosses to the mode with each subsequent patch. More info is found here, and a teaser trailer/opening to the anime itself is below.

Our Thoughts

Between the Star Guardians of LoL and the mecha of Heroes of the Storm, we suppose a senpai protecting cute foxes would be the next logical anime step for the MOBA genre. It’s so glaringly obvious we’re not even sure how we missed it, honestly. Here’s hoping players of SMITE get many Ratatoskr cuddles and have a lot of fun in this upcoming mode!

Source: press release

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Hi-Rez Backpedals on Video Welcoming Paragon Players to SMITE

A cheeky little SMITE PR video offering soon to be displaced Paragon players a home in their MOBA has been officially removed. Some apparent backlash at the video’s attempt at humor incited the decision, though said backlash appears to come from within SMITE’s community and not Paragon’s.

smite pr video

The video features community managers Isiah and MLC St3alth talking about SMITE’s features and five year lifespan, with occasional tight shots of each person as they whisper “Para”, “Gon” and “Epic Game” with goofy grins as they rib the sunsetting MOBA Paragon.

If one takes the comments within the SMITE and Paragon subreddits at face value, the pushback against the video was spearheaded by Twitch streamer DMBrandon, who called the original post “embarassing” in a tweet.

Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris later issued an apology on Twitter, clarifying the video was “intended as good fun and not as disrespect”. “We’ve had to shut down games before and so we know first hand it is crushing for both the dev-team and the community,” he added.

For the sake of record, Paragon players that frequent the game’s subreddit don’t appear to be particularly chafed by the video itself. “Didn’t bother me at all, actually thought it was genuinely funny,” wrote one player, while another writes “It was nice of them to acknowledge the new influx of Paragon refugees, and we thought it was all in good fun for sure”.

DMBrandon, however, appears to be dumbfounded at the reception he’s received on his reaction. “It’s amazing how hirez can make a video mocking the failure of a game and I’m somehow the bad guy,” he tweeted. “We care that the paragon devs see that stuff and feel like they’re being kicked when they’re down. It had nothing to do with either community.”

You can see a mirror of the original video below and decide for yourself.

Our Thoughts

We can kind of see both sides of this issue here. On the one hand, taking advantage of a game’s shutdown could certainly come off wrong to the devs who worked as hard as they did on said game. On the other hand, there didn’t really seem to be any genuine ill will in the video itself and it appeared to be honestly just a bit of fun. We’re interested to know what you have to say about the matter in our comments below.

Sources: Paragon subreddit, Twitter 1, 2 via Massively Overpowered

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