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Smite 2 wasn’t planned, but one huge discovery changed everything

Announced at the Smite World Championships, Smite 2 is the sequel that no one saw coming - and that, apparently, includes Titan Forge Games.

Smite 2 wasn't planned, but one big thing changed everything: A pretty woman with black hair wearing a purple bandanna stands in front of a swirling red sky, tattoos on her body and her arm raised

There are an awful lot of sequels this year: Stalker 2, Dragon’s Dogma 2, and, my favorite of course, Bloodlines 2. But what I didn’t see coming was Smite 2, an enhanced version of Titan Forge Games’ decade-old MOBA. So, when we asked executive producer Alex Cantatore, Titan Forge general manager and Smite 2 creative director Travis Brown, and advanced game designer Daniel ‘PonPon’ Cooper about how Smite 2 came to be, they admitted that a sequel wasn’t planned.

A roar engulfs the audience as Titan Forge announces Smite 2 – the room feels as though it’s shaking. It’s the sequel we never saw coming, but perhaps a much-needed rebirth for the classic MOBA given that the likes of League of Legends and Dota 2 still reign supreme.

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Yet, as Brown tells us in an exclusive PCGamesN interview at the World Championships, none of this was initially on the cards. “Was [Smite 2] planned? No, not one minute of it,” he tells us. “We have been working on something in the Smite universe for a couple of years, [so we asked] what else can we do? What else can we try? By the end of 2022, we had 5.2 as an engine, and we decided to quickly iterate on some game modes and see what would stick.

“We created the game mode in about two weeks, and we were like ‘that’s really cool,’ but it wasn’t it. So we pivoted from that to create another game mode, and we did that in a day – that was playable the next day, it seemed pretty fun, but it wasn’t it. But it did give us the idea that, if we could do this so quickly on Unreal Engine 5.2, why don’t we try building Smite in UE5.2? We did that in about four weeks.

“Once we saw that, we knew ‘that’s it,'” he says with an emphatic eureka-style clap.

Smite 2 wasn't planned, but one big thing changed everything: A huge dragon breaths energy down onto foes on the ground in a forest area

Cantatore then goes on to explain that the team made the discovery when they were “noticing more issues and slow downs with Smite 1’s development. We knew we needed to get a new HUD in the game because the HUD is super outdated, and we put ten people on it, they worked on it for a year and a half and it barely shipped in a functional state.

“We realized every day just how hamstrung we were by the old technology, and were like ‘man, we can do so much more.'” UE5.2, then, became their savior.

“We’d always told the community ‘here’s why we’re not doing a Smite 2,'” PonPon chimes in. “It wasn’t really [possible] until Unreal Engine 5, [which has] a lot of the fully packaged suites that could be refined up, as well as the gameplay system that we could really build upon. This probably was actually the soonest we could do it.”

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As someone who loves Smite, as well as playing as my namesake, The Morrigan, I am so excited for Smite 2 – especially given how badly my League of Legends Season 14 ranked climb is going. Smite 2 is exactly what the series needed,  at exactly the right time.

So, if you, like me, are far too hyped, make sure you sign up for the Smite 2 alpha test. But, while you wait, we have a whole list of other free Steam games to keep you entertained.

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Smite World Championship 2024 reporting provided by Danielle Rose.