"S2 Games" boosting Michigan's economy | News
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WZZM) - It's no secret that the video game industry has exploded worldwide. Trying to find a niche in the highly-competitive arena is no small feat.
A company from Kalamazoo has not only found a niche, it's cornered the market, and the game they've created has almost become a religion in some countries.
"Heroes of Newerth" is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed by "S2 Games" for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. The game was released on May 12, 2010 and then re-released as a free-to-play game on June 29, 2012.
"We publish the game and provide support for it," said Nathan Garcia, who is "S2 Games" marketing manager.
"Heroes of Newerth" puts two teams of players against each other: the Legion and the Hellbourne. Players on each team choose ten of two heroes, featuring a variety of abilities and advantages. Players control a single hero from a top-down perspective. The game ends when the opposing team's main structure is destroyed.
"The characters in the game were created by people working here [in Kalamazoo]", added Garcia. "Heroes of Newerth is a completely made in Michigan game."
Garcia says new heroes are added monthly to the game, which has gone global. "Heroes of Newerth" has been downloaded over 8 million times, and it currently has more than 2.5 million active players worldwide.
"To say the growth is explosive I think would be very fair at this point," added Garcia.
The success "Heroes of Newerth" has brought to "S2 Games" has allowed the Kalamazoo-based company to add several new jobs in the past year.
"Our production team has grown from 12 people in 2011 to 50 in 2012," said Garcia. "We're always looking for new people, especially locally."
Garcia says "Heroes of Newerth" is the number one played video game in Thailand. It's also extremely popular in Singapore, Russia and the Philippines.
Thanks to "Heroes of Newerth", "S2 Games" has emerged as a major player in the gaming industry. They've created a good-versus-bad game that's - good - for the Michigan economy.
"S2 Games" plans to release a new character for "Heroes of Newerth" sometime this week.
Five years from now the company plans to grow the game's player-base and elevate into a worldwide "e-sport", with a competitive, international video game league featuring elite and pro gamers battling to become world champions.