Hi-Rez announces layoffs in studios, dissolving Rogue Company: Elite developer First Watch Games
Hi-Rez Studios has announced a period of restructuring and rebranding, now known as Hi-Rez Ventures, which will involve layoffs and studio consolidation. First Watch Games and RedBeard Games Studio will merge into Evil Mojo and Titan Forge, respectively. The popular franchise Rogue Company will continue unaffected, but there are uncertainties surrounding Rogue Company: Elite, which was previously being developed by First Watch Games as a mobile spin-off.
It's unclear what the future holds for Rogue Company: Elite, as the last update was in late 2022, with a planned release date in 2023. Evil Mojo will take on the maintenance of Rogue Company and Realm Royale, but they will primarily focus on the Paladins IP.
The studio's announcement states that these changes aim to better support their live game franchises and give more control to the developers within Titan Forge and Evil Mojo, ensuring the best experiences for their gaming communities.
While Rogue Company: Elite may not be entirely abandoned, its development is likely to be put on hold during the restructuring. If it does proceed, it will probably fall under the supervision of Evil Mojo, as First Watch Games is now effectively defunct.
Hi-Rez Studios has faced challenges in the past, with their attempt to bring Paladins to mobile through Paladins Strike being quietly shelved around 2021. One notable misstep was including art from Blizzard's Overwatch in the marketing materials for Paladins Strike, which drew negative attention to the project.
Source: Iwan Morris, Staff Writer at PocketGamer