Hi-Rez Studios, the team behind SMITE and Paladins, announced their esports department will now be launching as a separate subsidiary with a new name.
Skillshot Media will function as a 35-person esports tournament operator and production company based in Alpharetta, Georgia. The company will officially launch its brand new 16,000 sq ft production studio on May 9th and will reportedly produce 75 hours of esports content weekly.
Hi-Rez Co-founder and Skillshot President, Todd Harris said: “Smite and Paladins have accumulated well over one billion video views while growing a registered player community of over 45 million. We started live-streaming games from a bedroom, then a tiny office, and now a dedicated production studio. But our goal has always been to foster community through esports and video content. By organizing ourselves as a separate entity focused only on esports and content product, we’re excited to bring even more dedicated esports attention to Smite and Paladins and also explore partnerships with new games and additional game publishers and developers”.
“We are pleased to increase our commitment to and focus on esports with this organizational change.” said Hi-Rez Studios President, Stew Chisam. “We believe the Smite and Paladins competitive communities will benefit from the dedicated focus, sustainable leagues and world-class production facilities.”
Back in February the company announced a partnership with streaming service, Mixer to stream all SMITE Pro League and Console Series games. As both SMITE and Paladins esports function on a weekly “league” format, the focus of Skillshot Media will solely be on content creation for Hi-Rez’s most popular titles at launch while exploring the opportunity to work with other developers in the future.
Esports Insider says: An interesting move from the U.S. game developer. Most tournament operators begin as separate entities so as to cover multiple esports. In this case Hi-Rez is exploring the opposite option in order to fully focus on SMITE and Paladins esports while opening up work with other developers in the future. It will be notable to see how this move will help (or hurt) Hi-Rez esports along with esports in the state of Georgia.