I don’t care who you are, if you’ve played PC games as far back as 1998, you know what Starsiege: TRIBES is, because it was a barrier-breaking game for online team competition in First-Person Shooter games. Considering it still has community-ran Master Servers, I’d say it’s pretty damn high up the list of longest-living games as well – even though the average number of online players is fairly small and typically restricted to a couple of the more popular servers these days.
Still, what did Hi-Rez do to this franchise? Even though Tribes was dormant in terms of production on new games, a lot of people in the forums were talking about trying to buy the rights to the franchise, and in stepped Hi-Rez, who dazzled with there nice-looking static page of the Blood Eagle and Diamond Sword armors. I was pretty hopeful for what Hi-Rez might do with Tribes, until I found out it would be completely restricted to HR-hosted servers (meaning no custom mods), and then the F2P transition. Now, Tribes is, once again, sitting dormant with no clear future. Basically, it just changed hands and stayed in the same place.
I know that there are a lot of seriously-talented programmers in communities for countless games, but Tribes definitely had its share. I can’t imagine that the possibilities for Tribes wouldn’t have been more broad and helmed by a more interested group if the rights could have come into the possession of members of the community as opposed to a studio that apparently didn’t see the money pot under it that they were expecting.