What do you do when your game engine can't deliver the content that you'd like? Buy one that can.
HiRez Studios, developer of MMO shooter Global Agenda, announced this weekend in an official post on the Global Agenda forums that it has acquired the rights to the Tribes franchise and has set up two teams - one for Global Agenda, and one for Tribes Universe - which is slated to enter alpha testing at the beginning of 2011 (with Global Agenda players with level 50 characters having priority in entering Alpha and Beta testing).
The following was taken from the original post on the Global Agenda forums, which can be accessed directly with registration.
Here is a brief update on what's been happening at HiRez Studios.
Those of you that have been playing Global Agenda know that over the last year we have been consistently adding new features/content and releasing it at no charge to the Global Agenda community. We plan to continue doing this on an on-going basis as much as possible and over the next couple of months everyone will see new maps, raids, flair, and weapons (starting with the Halloween event next week).
As most of you know, Global Agenda is an ambitious project that incorporates many different gameplay modes (PvP, PvE, AvA, Raids, Open Zone, DA). Over time we had many requests for additional game play modes, especially larger spaces and fights. Earlier this year we released the Sonoran Desert quest zone as an area that would help players ease into the game while testing our technology limits for having large areas and many players in the same zone. Our plan for a first paid expansion was to continue on that path with Warzones which were designed as large open areas where players can PvP.
As we worked on Warzones we found too many design and programming issues to make it practical. Global Agenda was designed around 10v10 team play and there was no practical path found to scale it up in a significant way (to large scale numbers like 100 players in a single area). As a result we plan to continue releasing more Global Agenda content but only in the formats players are already familiar with. (Special Ops, Raids, Merc Missions, etc)
While we know that some players will be disappointed in the lack of warzones, we also have some good news.
We can't transform Global Agenda to a large scale battle format but since we liked this concept a lot, we decided to create a new game based on large scale fighting. In order to develop the new game many significant steps had to be taken, including: A significant rewrite to the unreal engine servers to allow for 100+ players to be fighting in the same map, a new UI system that is more efficient, a different implementation of character visuals, a new terrain system, etc. In addition the combat gameplay required many significant changes as well.
While working through the design we kept coming back to one old and loved game that represented many of the concepts we where incorporating into the new game (Jetpacks, vehicles, large open space, three armor types, futuristic weapons, etc). Many of you will know this game as Tribes, the original on-line multiplayer shooter. As of now, HiRez Studios is the proud new owner of the Tribes franchise.
We now have two groups in the studio, one working on continuing to build Global Agenda and a new group working on the Tribes Universe project. We are also moving to a new larger office space in another month that will help us accommodate our growth.
I'm sure many of you have questions, so here are a few quick highlights for Tribes Universe:
* Three Tribes (factions)
* Full clan (agency) support
* First person view (third person for some vehicles)
* Full vehicle support (ground and air)
* Full persistent world with territory control (no instances)
* PvP focused
* Huge outdoor maps (about 10x the area of sonoran desert)
* Large scale fights (100+ players)
* Jetpacks, skiing, lots of weapons, etc
Alpha testing will begin at the start of the year (about 3 months from now) and Global Agenda players with level 50 characters will have priority in entering Alpha and Beta testing
Thanks for you support
P.S. More information on Tribes Universe will be coming in the near future along with an Alpha/Beta registration web site.