Hi-Rez tried to be funny on Kickstarter

Let’s all shuffle awkwardly away

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[Update #3: A Hi-Rez employee who wishes to remain anonymous confirmed that Andrew Sexton is part of the Hi-Rez marketing team and also provided us with the following comment:

There are a number of employees that haven’t been so enthused about this and several of us have said ‘it makes us look like assholes.”

[Update #2: Hi-Rez has since released a video which gives some context to the Kickstarter campaign, which has since been removed. It even manages to make this whole thing fairly funny. They spoke about the response to the Kickstarter in the description of the video:

“NOTE: The ‘game’ project posted on Kickstarter was a parody – mainly aimed at ourselves; – game developers sometimes take themselves too seriously and get a bit pretentious and buzzwordy with their ambitious goals.

In all seriousness at Hi-Rez Studios we support both Independent Developers and Crowdfunding. There are many significant game projects that have been funded via Kickstarter and we ourselves heavily utilize crowdfunding for our esports prize pools.”

It’s okay, Hi-Rez. I forgive you. Also, sorry for shitting on Smite so much, it is a pretty good game.]

[Update: It’s been pointed out to us that the verified creator of this Kickstarter campaign is not Todd Harris, and is in fact someone named Andrew Sexton. This is despite the fact that Todd Harris appears to be a part of the campaigns Kickstarter video, and is attributed to be the creator of the campaign in several other places on the Kickstarter page. We’ve reached out to Hi Rez for comment.]

Hi-Rez, the developers of Smite and Tribes: Ascend have launched a Kickstarter for their latest game, called game., asking for a colossal $50,000,000. What is game.? Well, I’ll let them describe it for you:

“In gaming, perception is reality, and we’ve worked years on building a foundation to make reality our vision. when we learned of Kickstarter, it was the perfect platform to fully explore our next vision. we are calling it – game.

But what is game?

2D. openworld. resource based. metroidvania. visceral. cinematic. procedurally generated. drivatar. retro. the cloud. dark souls. 

Game is not a game. it’s an experience.”

Oh it’s satirical. Sort of. Is it particularly funny? Nope, it just feels weird coming from a big company like Hi-Rez. Does it have a point? Not that I can see. I don’t even like Kickstarter and this still feels like a low blow to me.

Maybe if Hi-Rez actually did a Kickstarter rather than mocking it, they’d stop having to abandon their games every thirty fucking seconds. They did it with Global Agenda, and they did it with Tribes: Ascend, and you can bet your ass they’ll do the same with Smite once game. absolutely definitely does come out.

Almost any other company could’ve done this and made it somewhat funny, but with Hi-Rez’s history it just feels off to me. Had the satire been aimed at a specific company, a specific type of Kickstarter or a specific industry trend it might have been more amusing. Instead, it just comes off as a weird scattershot attempt at trying to hit on something people might find funny.

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Joe Parlock
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