Smite, the long running mythology-themed MOBA, is having a crossover event with RuneScape (opens in new tab), that fantasy MMO where everyone looks like Andross from Star Fox. You know the one, a surprising amount of people born between 1991 and 1998 have a ton of nostalgia for it? The piece de resistance is the inclusion of the Gnome Child, a wee fey scamp who has starred in internet memes (opens in new tab) for over a decade.
The crossover event is adding RuneScape-themed skins for a number of characters, including Cerberus, Merlin, Bellona, and Neith. Vamana, the Fifth Avatar of Vishnu, has the distinct honor of playing host to the Gnome Child. The skins will be available for purchase starting November 15, and pricing has yet to be announced. Users on Reddit (opens in new tab) have speculated they'll fall at 600+ gems (~$15), which is in line with other premium and crossover offerings for Smite.
If you're wondering what the hullabaloo is about, RuneScape's Gnome Child NPC had a bit of a second life as an internet mascot, likely born of his almost surprised, but somehow also blasé expression, one that seems to carry the "eh, I guess I'll just roll with it" ethos of a generation of posters.
It doesn't hurt that RuneScape has a lot of pull with gamers of a certain age, almost the way Minecraft and Roblox hooked zoomers. Gnome Child was also a font of delightful non-sequiturs (opens in new tab). "Dimensionality is a function of consciousness… That's all you need to know," he would tell 12-year-olds. "Guthix's angels fly so high as to be beyond our sight, but they are always looking down on us," he would announce to individuals with yet-to-be-completed algebra homework.
Honestly most of those original dialogue lines are funnier than the memes that followed, but it does rule that former PC Gamer editor Steven Messner helped secure the inclusion of a Gnome Child card (opens in new tab) in RuneScape's ill-fated CCG spinoff.
The whole skin collection's a real winner as far as I'm concerned. I'm a big fan of when games combine incongruous art styles, especially low-poly character models in otherwise hi-fi environments, see also that hilarious FF7 Remastered mod (opens in new tab).