Train2Game News Hi-Rez Studios opens in Brighton

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Hi-Rez Studios today announced that it has opened a new office in Brighton, United Kingdom to expand its reach and better serve its rapidly growing European player base.

Veronique Lallier has been appointed as Vice President of European Publishing to build and lead the Brighton office. Lallier is the former Vice President of Digital Publishing at Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment International and has 15 years of experience in the gaming industry, with particular expertise in the European Online Gaming market.

“Fueled by the continued rapid growth of SMITE, our European community has expanded tremendously over the past year,” said Todd Harris, COO of Hi-Rez Studios. “Hi-Rez prides itself in being a highly community-oriented company, and this move will allow us to much better serve our European players, across SMITE as well as our other games.”

The office will focus primarily on community management, localization and marketing operations for Europe. Core development and operations will still be handled from Hi-Rez’s headquarters in Atlanta.

“I am delighted to join the Hi-Rez team to help support and expand our European player base.” Lallier said, “Hi-Rez has a unique and vibrant community in Europe – as evidenced by the European victory at the 2016 Smite World Championship! I look forward to meeting and working with our passionate fan base here in Europe.”

Hi-Rez is currently hiring for positions in the Brighton office.  For more information about available jobs, visit http://www.hirezstudios.com/ .

Train2Game news: Tribes: Ascend passes 1 million downloads in less than a month

Train2Game Blog readers may have read this post at the end of April, about free-to-play shooter Tribes: Ascend reaching 800,000 players in its first weeks of release.

Well, the growth didn’t stop there, with developer Hi-Rez revealing Tribes: Ascend has reached 1.2 million downloads since its release on 12th April.

“We’re thrilled that over 1 million gamers have discovered the fast-paced and skill-based gameplay of Tribes,” said Hi-Rez Studios COO Todd Harris. “It is truly the player support of the title that has driven the population growth and fuels our team to deliver updates.

“We see the community expanding primarily thru positive word of mouth. Since release we’ve already recognized seven players who have each individually referred over 500 new people to Tribes: Ascend.”   he continued.

“The game’s success allows us to give back to the community through free DLC updates, tournament events and expansion into new markets in coming months.”  Harris added.

As previously reported by The Train2Game Blog, the Hi-Rez COO believes free-to-play is the best business model for both studios and gamers.

There’s more on the rise of free-to-play here.

Are you playing Tribes: Ascend? What are your thoughts on the success of the game?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game News: “Free-to-play is the best model for gamers and studios” says Tribes: Ascend studio chief

Free-to-play is the best business model both for development studios and gamers. That’s according to Hi-Rez COO Todd Harris, who has recently seen his studio release Tribes: Ascend.

As reported by The Train2Game Blog, the free-to-play shooter with an old school feel has reached over 800,000 users in the weeks since it launched.

“It’s really our belief that for an online multiplayer game, particularly, free-to-play is the best model for gamers and for studios,” Harris told Gamasutra.

” We really saw the potential in free-to-play, for gamers and for studios. With Tribes: Ascend, we really wanted to do a AAA, free-to-play game that’s the level of production, polish and gameplay that we were shooting for. Fortunately, reviews have been good.” he continued, adding that despite the free-to-play model, Hi-Rez has ensured Tribes: Ascend isn’t “pay-to-win”

“Our philosophy is to focus first on making a fun an engaging game, second, by making it free you create a large audience to play the game.” said Harris.

“And third, you implement the store so that it doesn’t give any gameplay advantage to a paying player, but it gives a time advantage or a prestige advantage — the latter in the form of cosmetic skins.” the Hi-Rez COO added.

Earlier this year, Brawl Busters developer Rock Hippo told The Train2Game Blog that the advantage of free-to-play is it allows them to reach a much larger audience.

There’s more about free-to-play and its impact on the games industry, here on The Train2Game Blog.

Do you agree with the statement that free-to-play is the best model for gamers and studios?

Leave your comments here on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

Train2Game news: Free-to-play shooter Tribes: Ascend gains over 800,000 players

Train2Game students were among those that took place in the open beta for Tribes: Ascend, a multiplayer shooter from Hi-Rez Studios.

The free-to-play title officially launched on 12th April, and in just over 2 weeks has acquired over 800,000 players.  The figure was revealed to Gamasutra by Hi-Rez Studios COO Todd Harris.  The game lets players use experience or gold to unlock items.

Tribes: Ascend is downloadable for free here.

The impressive figures are yet another example of how the increasingly popular free-to-play model can result in success for game developers. Indeed, as recently reported by The Train2Game Blog, research suggests that 40% of free-to-play users purchase in-game items.

Earlier this year, Brawl Busters developer Rock Hippo told The Train2Game Blog that free-to-play allows them to reach a much larger audience.

There’s more about free-to-play and its impact on the games industry, here on The Train2Game Blog.

What are your thoughts on the initial numbers for Tribes: Ascend? Have you played the game? If so, what do you think?

Leave your comments on The Train2Game Blog, or on the Train2Game forum.