Work on Tribes MMO stopped in favor or Ascend

Hi-Rez Studios’ MMO Tribes Universe, announced back in 2008, appears to be no more. CEO Todd Harris has revealed in a chat with PC PowerPlay Magazine (via) that, as far as the franchise is concerned, the studio’s current focus is on Tribes Ascend and Tribes Ascend only.

“Our studio is a huge fan of the previous Tribes games. So after we acquired the rights to Tribes our first goal was to get the movement and physics and combat feeling right,” Harris explained when asked whatever happened to Universe.

“When we made enough progress toward that goal we decided to release a pure match-based shooter ahead of any MMO and that shooter became Ascend.”

The studio still has plans to “explore” both the Tribes and Starsiege properties with future projects, “but right now our Tribes dev team is working only on Ascend.”

Tribes Ascend is right now in beta, with a full launch expect sometime in Q1 2012.