Hi-Rez Kicks Off DreamHack/HRX With SMITE Switch Announcement, Cross-Play, And Much, Much More

QuintLyn Bowers
By QuintLyn Bowers, News Editor
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Hi-Rez Studio's annual community get-together and esports extravaganza, HRX has concluded, with fans able to catch all the action either in person, or via the game's Twitch and Mixer streams.

Of course, HRX is more than the tournaments. It's also where Hi-Rez (and it's sub-companies) announce all the big things that are happening with SMITE, Paladins, Realm Royale, and other projects. This year, there are two major announcements that also happen to be related. First... SMITE is coming to Nintendo Switch! Second... the company announced cross-platform, cross-progression play for SMITE, Paladins, and Realm Royale on PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

During the event they even stated that they are technically ready for cross-play on other platforms, but didn't name them specifically. Best guess: it's ready to roll out on PlayStation 4 if Sony decides to let them. Keep in mind that these are announcements for the future, so we won't necessarily be seeing them until 2019.

SMITE

Closed Beta testing for SMITE on the Nintendo Switch will begin on January 24th, 2019. Players wishing access to the test should pick up the Founder's Pack in the Nintendo eShop. This pack also contains the Ultimate God Pack, 400 Gems, skins, and more. The Founder's Pack is available to purchase today.

In other SMITE news, Titan Forge announced two new (kinda godly) gods -- King Arthur and Merlin. These will be the game's 99th and 100th gods.

The Titan Forge team also revealed an all new map for the game's Arena mode. This map is built on the conflict between Hera and Bellona. It's redesigned from the ground up, has a updated art style, and introduces the Minotaur -- a tanky behemoth. The map is available to play today.

Paladins

Paladins players have a really cool new character to look forward to, she's the game's 40th champion and comes with her own dragon. Imani, the Last Warder, is a damage champion that controls the elements of fire and ice. She can even surf the air on ice and use fire to propel herself forward. Her ultimate summons a huge frostfire-breathing dragon. And yes. It's player controlled.

The Paladins announcements also included the Assembly of Champions -- a democratically-elected player council. Based on the description, this will be something those who have played EVE Online will be familiar with.

Players, elected by other players, will take on the roll of delegate for a year and represent the community in scheduled meetings with the Evil Mojo team. Once a year, they will even all gather together in Atlanta for a more formal conference.

Realm Royale

The biggest stand-alone news for Realm Royale is that console testing is out of the gate. The game has entered Closed Beta testing on Xbox One. Players can expect it to expand to PlayStation 4 "very soon".

Finally, in celebration of HRX and all the new stuff coming to each of these games, Hi-Rez announced a few deals for their players.

SMITE players on all platforms will be able to celebrate the launch of the new arena by picking up a free Arena Bundle, unlocking seven Gods and a divine set of skins. There's also a sale on the Ultimate God Pack and Gems.

Paladins players on Steam and PC will be able to pick up a free Starter Pack, unlocking the game's four newest Champions as well as a skin and voice pack for each. This pack will unlock automatically for all players who log in between November 16 and December 15.

Finally, Realm Royale players (new and existing) will get the Cluc-o-morph Chicken for free.

If you missed watching the Hi-Rez Presents keynote, you can watch it in full right here.

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About the Author

QuintLyn Bowers
QuintLyn Bowers, News Editor
QuintLyn is a long-time lover of all things video game related will happily talk about them to anyone that will listen. She began writing about games for various hobby sites a little over ten years ago and has taken on various roles in the games community.

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