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-
- Check out local gaming meetups and career fairs.
- Rub elbows Georgia Game Developers Association and International Game Developers Association. It’s a small industry so networking is a must.
- Spend time designing a great website to showcase examples of gaming projects you have finished.
- In addition to school projects join a MOD team to expand your portfolio.
- Hi-Rez is hiring, and usually recruit students out of Georgia Tech, SCAD, and the Art Institute of Atlanta. Get in on the action.