Content Type: Gaming News
Date: April 18, 2020
Recently we have been updating you about the progress on the sandbox RPG game Hytale, but these recent changes might mean even more for the future of the game.
Riot Games, a video game developer you might know from the League of Legends and Legends of Runeterra, acquired Hypixel Studios on April 16th, along with all of their projects, but especially so Hytale.
Hypixel Studios, known for their open relationship with the community, posted a detailed update on the changes that will be coming to the company venturing forward. Stepping down as the CEO of Hypixel studios, Simon will be giving more attention to his personal life, health, and the original and still independent Hypixel Minecraft server, where the journey of Hypixel Studios originally began.
Noxy, the new CEO of the company, went into detail of his history of trusting relationship with Riot Games. According to Noxy, the huge company was both an advisor and an investor in the project since the early days of Hytale and always shared Hypixel’s vision. Noxy cited the crucial decision of partnering with Riot Games as the reason behind company’s long stretches of silence in 2019 and the excitement of “[going] pro,” in contrast with the company having its origins in Minecraft’s modding community.
Riot’s acquisition of the company was a serious consideration since the major success of the Hytale Announcement Trailer and will bring valuable mentorship, a much higher budget limits, and the opening of the official Hypixel Studios Headquarters in Northern Ireland.
Riot Games likewise made a cheerful announcement on their website. Quoting Dylan Jadeja, the president of Riot Games, the post focused on the company’s excitement of advising Hypixel Studios on their journey in the past and going forward.
However, it would be hard to imagine Hypixel sounding fearful in addressing this arrangement, since confidence is in the interest of both companies.
Because of that those who were supporting the game wholeheartedly all this time might be asking themselves: what potential downfalls does this acquisition bring, and do the benefits outweigh these risks?
Riot Games vs. Hypixel Studios – Conflicting Missions?
Noxy and Simon went to great lengths to emphasize that Riot Games is acquiring Hypixel Studios as an independent studio. The company will become a subsidiary of Riot Games but will otherwise continue working on Hytale as intended.
There is a reason behind this clarification: Hytale was always viewed as Hypixel Studios’ passion project that is highly attentive to the desires of their fans first and foremost. Riot Games did demonstrate support of this vision when they stated that authenticity and goals to improve player experience is something they actively look for in the game makers, which motivated their support of the company.
Yet, with the history of controversies surrounding Riot Games can we really take this promise at its face value?
Recently, video game players suffered a lot of detachment from the companies like Blizzard, Bethesda, Ubisoft, and EA; the reason behind this was often a conflict of interest. The AAA game developers often seem to base their decisions and public communication on motivations of profit or (sometimes forceful) preservation of an unblemished public image. Because of that these companies often missed the mark with the reception of their fans and the video game community overall.
Since Riot Games seemed to show some of the similar attitude along the way (which is to be expected of a company of this magnitude), can we trust that they will not bring major changes to the future of Hytale in the name of generating additional profit or preserving their brand’s image?
At its basic level, Riot Games fully purchased Hypixel Studios and their creative ideas, so it’s hard to view their relationship as an equal partnership. While the people directly behind the development of the game will remain the same, a new joint board of directors will be assembled to make major decisions, with Riot Games having a final say. We can already see the effects: the future of the project’s monetization is now more foggy than it was before.
New Opportunities Going Forward
But, we will leave this news post on a note of hope by looking at the significant benefits that Riot Game’s resources will undoubtedly offer to Hytale‘s developers.
Popularity and profits of any creative project depend heavily on its marketing. We can all agree that Riot Games is a beast of a company with a booming voice behind its brand name. It will be able to offer a plenty of expertise and resources when it comes to spreading the word to the right people. Going forward we can reasonably predict that Hytale will receive even more attention, potentially on an exponential scale. This can truly push the project to an entirely new level.
In a similar way, Riot Games will be able to provide more experienced talent to the Hypixel Studios, as well as a much more impressive budget and financial management. While it will undoubtedly affect Hytale‘s final state at least in some way, the way in which it does so has a potential to be quite positive.
Under the continued management of developers we have learned to appreciate and trust due to their warmhearted relationship with the community, there is at least some hope that Hytale will remain the player-centered game it aimed to be from the beginning, possibly even becoming something far more impressive than it could ever be on its own.