Tribes Ascend Status Report

The surprising return of Tribes: Ascend on PC Gamer is a look at Tribes: Ascend, and efforts by Hi-Rez Studios to revitalize their online shooter that started with the release late last year of an "out of the blue" update that added new content and removed all pay-to-win elements. The article features comments from Sean McBride who discusses the history of this Starsiege TRIBES remake, and why some things turned out as they did. He also outlines their motivations, expressing love for the franchise and a desire to leave the game in a better state, even if it's not something that's going to make them any money. Here's word on where things stand:
Although Tribes devotees may feel that their game was put aside in favour of Smite, the MOBA’s success is what has allowed Hi-Rez to re-establish a small Tribes development team. “We had enough manpower and enough resources,” McBride says. “We’re, like, 225 people now—we could spare a few.”

Given the small size of the new team, I ask McBride if they ever considered making a simpler, subtler update—a set of fixes rather than a major overhaul. “I felt that if we didn’t do something fundamental and big then we wouldn’t have players come back,” he says. “Let’s really embrace the fact that it’s going to be different now and draw players back with that. Ultimately I felt like players would be bored if it was totally the same game with some new maps and balance changes.”

There’s a performative aspect to this decision too—the scope of the changes is a way of building lines of communication with the community. “It set the stage, right?” McBride says. “This is how big of a change we’re willing to make to the game, so come back, talk about it, give us other ideas, you know?”