Minecraft and Roblox have big targets painted on their backs, and Hytale is an arrow pointed at them. Hypixel Studios is unveiling Hytale, a new game that delivers a sandbox world and a blocky 8-bit art style.

The game comes from the creators of Hypixel, the world’s largest mod server. Hypixel Studios is building the game, with funding support from Riot Games and an advisory group of industry veterans.

The team behind the Hypixel server network, the world’s largest independent game server, has today announced the formation of Hypixel Studios, which is making the game.

Above: Hytale is a new open world adventure game.

Image Credit: Hypixel Studios

“Founding Hypixel Studios is a huge step forward for our team, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Riot Games and our advisory group of investors,” said Simon Collins-Laflamme, cofounder of Hypixel Studios, in a statement. “We feel very lucky to have built relationships that not only fund the development of Hytale, but provide us with insight and advice that will be instrumental in making Hytale as good as it possibly can be.”

Hypixel Studios has been established in order to pursue the team’s goal of transitioning from a community mod team into a game development house. It has also announced its first project, Hytale, a sandbox role-playing game, a minigames platform, and a set of accessible tools that enable users to customize and create across all aspects of the game.

Development of Hytale began in 2015 and was initially supported by the success of the Hypixel mod server. Besides Riot Games, advisers and investors include:

Above: Hytale has a wide variety of activities do in a sandbox world.Anthony Borquez, university professor and video game entrepreneur

Image Credit: Hypixel Studios
  • Dennis Fong, entrepreneur and pro gamer “Thresh,” (He is investing personally, not as CEO of Plays.tv).
  • Rob Pardo, veteran game designer at Bonfire Studios and former designer of World of Warcraft.
  • Peter Levin, interactive media entrepreneur and investor. (He is investing personally, not in his role as an executive at Lionsgate).
  • Jeff Lo, serial investor.
  • Min Kim, game industry veteran and cofounder of Bonfire Studios.

“Since meeting the Hypixel team in 2016, we’ve been blown away by their support for their community, vision for the future of sandbox gaming, and belief in individual contributors working toward a common goal,” said Dylan Jadeja, president of Riot Games, in a statement. “Their ambition and commitment to quality gives us a ton of confidence, and from everything we’ve seen of Hytale, we haven’t been let down. Supporting Hypixel is also an opportunity to support a game that will reach players at multiple stages in their gaming journeys, across age groups, genres, and play styles. We can’t wait to dive into the world of Hytale.”

Above: Hytale will feature community servers and mini games.

Image Credit: Hipixel Studios

Hypixel Studios has more than 40 developers around the world, all working on its first project.

“My fellow investors and I are always looking to find next generation game studios and IP that continue to push video game genres forward. We’re fascinated by amazing games that are grown from modding communities and we believe that Hypixel Studios are building something special that will contribute to the growing and evolving video game industry,” said Anthony Borquez, on behalf of the advisory group, in a statement.

The game features an open-world adventure mode featuring combat, crafting and construction for both solo players and groups. It also has a wide variety of online mini games including the power for players to create and share their own. And it has an accessible suite of tools that spans block-based construction, in-game scripting and movie-making, and the Hytale Model Maker — a browser-based modeling and animation toolkit.

The Hypixel server was established in April 2013 by Simon Collins-Laflamme and Philippe Touchette. It is the holder of four Guinness World Records including ‘most popular independent server for a videogame’ (with 64,533 concurrent players) and ‘most unique players logged into a Minecraft server’ (with 14.1 million players).