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Smite expands into China with Hi-Rez and Tencent deal, receives new features

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Hi-Rez Studios' free-to-play MOBA, Smite, will see a release in China through a new worldwide publishing partnership with Tencent, the companies announced at Gamescom today, revealing that the game will receive a new mode called Atlanta, along with additional gods and features.

Smite's combination of MMORPG and first-person shooter elements will make the game stand out in the Chinese market, according to Steven Ma, vice president of Tencent, offering gamers in the region "fast paced and competitive" gameplay.

As part of the expansion into China, Smite will receive new Chinese gods and revised versions of currents gods Guan Yu, Sun WuKong and Zhong Kui. Todd Harris, Hi-Rez co-founder, said that the studio collaborated closely with Tencent on the gods' designs "to ensure that Chinese gods are authentic to that culture, while still making those gods available to all Smite players worldwide."

In July, Harris said that Hi-Rez would postpone major updates to the Tribes: Ascend for six months to focus on Smite development; however, studio will continue to support the game's community.

Currently in open beta in North America and Europe since June 12, registering 2 million players to date, Smite will roll out in China as a closed beta in October. Smite features multiple PvP modes and more than 40 playable gods from varying cultures.