Local Studio Starts a Godly War

In an unassuming building in an Atlanta suburb, a war between the gods is raging.

“SMITE,” a MOBA game (that’s multiplayer online battle arena for you non-gamers) was created and designed by Hi-Rez Studios in Alpharetta. Launching this week with festivities that include a live streaming $200,000 tournament held in Atlanta, “SMITE” promises to be a game changer (pun intended).

“SMITE” isn’t your average “war between Greco-Roman gods” game. This game features gods from many cultural pantheons, including Hindu, Norse, Egyptian, Mayan and Chinese. Click here for the Vanguard’s review of “SMITE.”


Hi-Rez is a studio located in suburban Atlanta.

As for the studio that started this godly war, Hi-Rez was started in 2005 by software executive and lifelong gamer Erez Goren, who wrote his first video game while still in high school.  Success in other ventures left him financially secure and in a position to translate his love of gaming into a game studio. 

“Instead of buying a yacht and retiring, he started a gaming company,” Hi-Rez vice president and co-founder Todd Harris said of Goren.


Hi-Rez Studio’s COO and Co-founder Todd Harris.

The studio has released two other games prior to “SMITE,” “Global Agenda” in 2010 and “Tribes: Ascend” in 2012. 

According to Harris, the developers chose gods as characters for “SMITE” because while they are well- known, some poetic license can be used, like in the case of making Thor a rock star.

All of Hi-Rez’s games, including “SMITE” are free to play. In fact, Hi-Rez press team member Gabriel Mughelli said that Hi-Rez was the first studio to offer a free-to-play game on Steam, the immensely popular video game distribution platform.

Having a game studio presence in the area will be a major boon to local gamers. Along with the tournament for the release of “SMITE” on March 28 and 29, Hi-Rez will be a key sponsor for the GameVid Expo being held in Atlanta that same weekend.

The GameVid Expo will be the first industry and fan conference to focus on game-based video content as entertainment.


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