2020 has been a big year for Riot Games. They launched a new League of Legends card game, Legends of Runeterra and they have one of the most popular games at the moment with their new shooter, Valorant. Now, the studio has announced that they have acquired Hypixel Studios who are working on Hytale, a community-powered block game that combines the scope of a creative sandbox with the depth of a roleplaying game.
Hypixel Studios was founded in 2018 and is a team of more than 40 developers whose goal is to take their years of experience in the modding and minigame server scene and apply it to independent game development. Hytale is the studio’s first project. The game is set to immerse players in a procedurally generated world that supports block-by-block construction to scripting and customization delivered using easy to use and powerful tools. Hytale features an open-world adventure mode featuring combat, crafting and construction for both solo players and groups; a wide variety of online minigames including the power for players to create and their own and the aforementioned construction, scripting moviemaking, and the Hytale Model Maker – a fully collaborative modeling and animation toolkit.
Brian Cho, Head of Corporate and Business Development at Riot Games said: “Our investment criteria is ultimately pretty simple: we look for authentic game makers striving to improve player experience. When we led the investment in the Hypixel Studios team two years ago, we saw a group deeply immersed in existing block games who believed the genre could better serve its community. This acquisition will bring our collaborative efforts with Noxy and the Hypixel team even closer together, and we can’t wait to see how their work continues to evolve.”
“Riot’s been an important partner from the start and this is a natural next step in our relationship,” said Simon Collins-Laflamme, Co-Founder of Hypixel Studios. “It’ll help the studio take another leap forward in our journey from mod team to professional developers, and allows the team to realize our vision for Hytale.”
Aaron ‘Noxy’ Donaghey, CEO of Hypixel Studios said: “We’ve been blown away by players’ response to Hytale, and Riot is the right partner to help us deliver a game that can live up to players’ expectations. Since our first meetings with Riot leadership long before their initial investment, we’ve found in Riot a partner with a similar commitment to empowering players. As development kicks into high gear, we’ll benefit from Riot’s resources, expertise, and experience while maintaining the operational independence that has enabled our success so far.”
Hypixel Studio is retaining its current structure and is hiring 20 new positions with further growth expected as Hytale‘s development continues.