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.”

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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.

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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.

Guess who’s back?!

I realized recently that I miss writing for the student newspaper as outlet for my random thoughts, aggravations and smile-inducing moments. And while I’m sure my Facebook friends adore me and all, they can only take so much of my banging on about the things that are in my head. In fact, there are things inside my head that would scare the bejeezus out of them. Best to play it safe and create a place for me to keep on producing my art with words. Make no mistake; every piece I write is, to me, a work of art. Maybe not a Mona Lisa, or a Sistine Chapel, but a work of art nonetheless.

The first topic I would like to pontificate on is everyone’s favorite deity, God.  I’m seriously pissed off at this being right now.  How much heartache and misery must one family go through before enough is enough? I have close family friends that just keep on losing people in their lives…a husband, a son, and yesterday, a father figure.  You’re thinking “Well, everyone dies. It’s a part of life.”  While that rings true for the elderly, infirm and reckless, these three men were none of the above.  One was broken to literal pieces in a horrific accident and the other was ripped away from us by a massive stroke. 

Then there’s another friend who recently lost her brother and then her father within two weeks time. What the hell God? We’re supposed to believe that you have some plan for all of us, yet you continue to torture those who, in my humble opinion, deserve it least.

Belief in this God is just something I can’t get behind. Everything we know about this God is taken from what is essentially a book of fables.  We’re supposed to have blind faith in this unseen spirit because if we don’t, we’ll spend an eternity in hell. So honestly, self-preservation is at the root of most Christian’s faith. They’re just trying to get into heaven and avoid the ‘burning fires’ of hell.

Whew. I’ve had a lot in my head lately…can you tell?  For the next post, I’ll bring a bit of levity to the blog.  I’ll be sure to include fluffy rabbits or unicorns or something.