Hi-Rez Studios wants to smite the digital card game world.
The developer today announced Smite Rivals during its Hi-Rez Expo in Atlanta. Smite is a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. This spin-off takes the franchise to the digital card game space, a market worth $1.2 billion. It will be free-to-play for PC and mobile devices. You can sign up for the closed beta here. This is actually the second card-based spin-off for Smite, with Smite Tactics entering its closed beta today. Blizzard’s Hearthstone leads the digital card game market, but it is seeing new competition from The Elder Scrolls: Legends, Duelyst, Hex, and now Smite Rivals.
Hi-Rez doesn’t release player numbers for Smite, although its unlikely to be performing better than the MOBA kinks, League of Legends and Dota 2. Hi-Rez also developed the team-based shooter Paladins.
“With Smite Rivals, we want to create a game for our fans that is familiar, fast-paced, and engaging, but different from the MOBA experience we all know and love,” said Brian Grayson, executive producer of Smite Rivals, in a press release sent to GamesBeat. “Not only will players collect and command an army of their favorite characters in a new and fun art style, but we’re excited to share that in-game progression will be continuous across all platforms. If you play on PC, you can pick up wherever you left off on your mobile device, and vice versa.”
Battles in Smite will take place in three lanes, just like in the MOBA. However, these fights will pit players against each other in one-on-one matches, who will use cards to deploy units on those lanes.