Head Shots

Hi-Rez CEO pulls a Patrick Söderlund on Realm Royale stream

Hi-Rez Studios
Cover image for Realm Royale alpha build on Steam
Realm Royale

Hi-Rez CEO Erez Goren, usually known as HiRezErez, recently jumped into a streamer's Twitch chat to apparently provide first hand info on how Realm Royale might progress in the future - but ended up telling the streamer to stop playing.

Realm Royale has been on a downward slope ever since the game released into Early Access on Steam. It spiked at launch with over 100,000 concurrent players but lost them fairly fast, with today's numbers moving between 2,500 and 3,000.

There are several reasons that players list for Realm Royale's rather rapid fall from grace but two always come out on top. The first is the frequent changes to core mechanics - instead of the developers addressing what the players see as game breaking issues. The second is Hi-Rez Studios' CEO, Erez Goren. I couldn't figure out for a while why there were so many memes about Goren driving the game into the ground with his behaviour, but some brief digging revealed several incidents which didn't go down well with the playerbase.

The latest one is when he popped into Twitch chat of a disillusioned Realm Royale streamer, Voiiid. One would think CEOs had other things to do, but it appears prowling streamers' Twitch chats is on Goren's priority list. At first he attempted to justify the massive changes that no one wanted, such as the removal of classes and loot drops from players, but then he decided to channel his inner Patrick Söderlund when Voiiid repeatedly stated why Realm Royale frustrates him.

While Goren didn't call Voiiid uneducated or stoop to any other insults, he did tell him to stop playing Realm Royale unless he is going to play the game he is "supposed to, with a team and stop crying". He proceeded to tell Voiiid to play something else and take a break.

Hi-Rez StudiosCover image for Realm Royale alpha build on SteamRealm Royale's free fall became a thing of legend

You can see the full transcription of the stream, along with chat time stamps here, while the stream VoD is embedded at the start of the article, so if you want to verify the comments yourself or see the context, you are free to do so.

Realm Royale was expected to be the next big thing in the battle royale genre, as it brought in Twitch's heavy hitters such as Ninja, Shroud and DrDisRespect in the opening days, all of whom were optimistic after the initial good impressions.

The developers decided to change core gameplay several times over in a rather short time period instead of fixing game breaking issues, which eventually led to the game's meltdown. It was all rather obvious what needed to be done and Ninja even attempted to address Hi-Rez in order to get them to do the right thing.

The aforementioned superficial search yielded a KnowYourMeme page about Erez Goren, with a compilation of former Hi-Rez employees' view of the company, where you can see more detail about the company's game testing sessions. Some are outright hostile due to the aggravation and interference they suffered during their time at Hi-Rez, while others also provide the positive sides of working there.

Hi-Rez StudiosPicture of Covert Ops Lex from Paladins Strike which was a subject of controversyPaladins Strike - Champion ripped off from League of Legends, featured on a background stolen from Overwatch

Both groups agree on one thing though - Erez Goren is not a person they would work with again. These reviews also shed some light on allegations of Hi-Rez's games copying leaders in current trends, such as outright ripping off Overwatch and League of Legends with Paladins, since one of the former employees mentions the company wants a "just do as you're told" mentality instead of employees being proactive.

Another one mentions that Hi-Rez simply follows trends and is satisfied with any scraps left behind by the big names in the industry. Summa summarum, as it stands now, it doesn't look like the development of Realm Royale will ever change direction, nor will it listen to the community's feedback. At least not while HiRezErez is calling the shots.