Tribes Ascend developer bids farewell in final update

End of Development

Tribes: Ascend featured intense fast-paced gameplay in beautifully designed environments

Tribes: Ascend, a free to play multiplayer first person shooter game that was developed by HI-Rez Studios, will no longer be getting further development as noted in their “Parting Gifts” update for the game, the first major update since January 2016. This update, which brings the game to version 1.4, will be the last major patch for the game. It brings some notable changes to the game, with the removal of screenshake, sidearms and automatics being merged into a single category for all classes, this category being called “Bullet”, fixing issues that allowed players to exit the playing area through entering vehicles at specific locations, along with many other changes that improve all elements of the game.

Shaky Development Path

Hi-rez put more focus on Smite when it was released which led to some disappointment among fans of Tribes Ascend

The cessation of development of Tribes Ascend is saddening for both the players and game developers alike. It marks the end of what was very shaky development of the game, especially after the release of Smite in 2014. Firstly, when the game was in its beta stage, it received regular updates up until 2012. After that, the updates started to become more intermittent, with only three updates in 2013 and four in 2015.


There were no updates in 2014. This is a result of Hi-Rez studios focusing on other games like their online arena battle game, Smite, which was released that year. As a result, players were wondering if Hi-Rez studios abandoned Tribes: Ascend in favour of Smite, which resulted in a fracturing of the Tribes Community as more people stopped playing the game. To make things worse, Sean McBridge, creative director at Hi-Rez studios and a member of the original team that had pushed for the studio to get the license for the game, eventually left the studio in 2016.

Keeping the game going for the final road

The “Out of the Blue” update was not to revive Ascend, but to keep the game going one last time

However, this was not before a new update coined the “Out of the Blue Update” came out on December 10th 2015 which brought out a number of upgrades that vastly improved the quality of the game itself. It should be noted that the purpose of this update was not to revive the game as a whole, but rather to extend its life and give it a more suitable end.

Overview of the “Out of the Blue” Update

Mcbride acknowledges this when he notes that the revival is less about making a profit out of the game and more to “steady the ship” and make sure that the conclusion of development is done in an orderly fashion rather than just ending it abruptly like what happened in 2014 when the team decided that they needed to turn their attention to Smite.

Development has ended, but Tribes Ascend is not dead

Even though the game will not be receiving major updates, it will still get smaller patches to fix game-breaking issues

This brings us to the version 1.4 update which marks the end of any major updates being released for Tribes: Ascend. However, this does not mean that the game, as a whole, is dead. Although there will not be any major updates, the servers for the game will remain open, meaning that players can still enjoy the game, plus, there will still be smaller patches released that will fix any game-breaking bugs along with issues related to the balancing of weapons in the game.


Though it is sad to see the end of Tribes: Ascend, at least development for the game ended in a planned way rather than just ceasing abruptly. This can be seen in the improvements brought about by the “Out of the Blue” update along with the “parting gifts” update. The servers will also remain open for the game, so players can enjoy a higher quality game that will continue to be improved as smaller patches will be released for the game.

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