Largest Gaming Co. in SE to Host $1M Prize Championship

SMITE World Championship prize pool reaches $1,000,000

Hi­-Rez Studios recently announced that the SMITE World Championship (SWC) prize ­pool has reached $1,000,000 with over $400,000 in community contributions in the last two months. There are still 13 weeks to go before the prize pool amount is finalized, so stand by. This $1M mark makes SMITE only the fourth video game franchise in history to offer a single event prize pool of this size. The SWC prize pool increases each time SMITE (a mythology ­themed action game for PC and soon XBox One) players purchase exclusive content from ­themed promotions inside of the game.  Tickets are now on sale for the World Championship, held in Atlanta on January 9 ­-11, 2015 at the 2,750 ­seat Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

We caught up with Hi-Rez Studios’ COO, Todd Harris, to give you the full scoop on his career, the Alpharetta- based company, and how to thrive in the gaming industry:

  • Harris cofounded Hi-Rez in 2005, after years in the business software industry at BlueCube, Radiant Systems, and NCR.
  • He has a personal interest in collaboration and small teams (which has definitely influenced and benefited Hi-Rez’s development).
  • His devotion to tech/gaming began in 7th grade when his father, who worked for IBM, brought home one of the first at-home computers.
  • Hi-Rez focuses on group gaming to cultivate a loyal audience. Their offerings include SMITE, Tribes, and Global Agenda Free Agent.
  • It took them 5 years to create the first game, and in the first six months they went from a pay-to-play model to free.
  • In 2014 they have grown from 75 to 150 employees.
  • The industry- There are a few other gaming companies in the north-Atlanta area with around 50 employees. Check out Roswell’s Tripwire Interactive and Cumming’s Xaviant.
  • Harris’ advice on how to land a job in the industry-
  • Hi-Rez is hiring, and usually recruit students out of Georgia Tech, SCAD, and the Art Institute of Atlanta. Get in on the action.

[Photo Credit]