It seems that every couple of months new MOBAs are being released. Though some of the genre’s new comers are able to find a decently sized fan base, none of been able to truly challenge the stranglehold that DOTA 2 and League of Legends hold on the genre. However, there is a new challenger on the horizon that is looking to carve out their own place in the over-saturated MOBA market, Heroes of the Storm. Though Blizzard’s first attempt at a MOBA is still in closed Beta-testing, it has many elements about the game that make it stand out from other games of the genre. As it moves closer to actually being released, people have begun to wonder whether or not it will be able to compete against DOTA 2 and League of Legends. There are a handful of reasons that point to it being able to find great success in the MOBA market.
The first reason Heroes of the Storm might become successful is Blizzard’s already huge name and fan base. This is incredibly obvious, but it can not be overlooked. With three of gaming’s most successful franchises in Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo, it is difficult to find a gamer who has not at least tried one of their games. Many players, however, have done more than just try these games. They have fallen in love with them. Since Heroes of the Storm combines characters from each of Blizzard’s franchise there are many people who will be interested in playing it if for no other reason than to have a chance to play as their favorite characters from their favorite franchises.
The second factor that may lead towards Heroes of the Storm’s success is the unique twist Blizzard is putting on a MOBA game. One of the biggest reasons Blizzard has found success is that they take games in a genre that are usually only attractive to certain types of people, and they do what they can to make it appeal to a wider audience. With World of Warcraft, they took a genre that was usually only played by incredibly hardcore players and made it mainstream. It appears as though Heroes of the Storm might be able to do the same. Following Blizzard’s classic philosophy of “easy to learn, difficult to master”, Heroes of the Storm looks to completely re-define the MOBA genre. Being much more team oriented and less mechanically demanding, Heroes of the Storm will be able to attract players who otherwise would have no interest in a MOBA game.
The final major factor that makes Heroes of the Storm looks as though it is on the road to success is the competitive scene that is already forming around it. The game is still in testing, yet tournaments put on by long time eSports leagues such as ESL have drawn quite a bit of attention. Furthermore, some of the biggest organizations in eSports, including Cloud 9, Team Liquid, and Evil Geniuses, have already begun signing teams to represent them. The hype is definitely already here for a competitive scene, and it is just up to Blizzard, who is no stranger to the world of eSports, to grow that hype. By showcasing their game through competitive events such as Blizzcon and this months “Heroes of the Dorm” tournament, Blizzard will be able to help their game get the attention that it deserves. Though a competitive eSports scene is not necessarily a requirement to being a successful game, it will certainly help it compete against other genres in the market.
Heroes of the Storm is still young, in fact it has yet to technically be released, however, its fan base is growing every day. It is fairly safe to say that this game will not completely flop. The real question is just how successful it can be. Now it is far too soon to say whether or not Blizzard’s new MOBA will take the place of DOTA 2 or League of Legends and there are many obstacles in which it must overcome to become successful. Regardless, Blizzard’s reputation, their game design philosophy, and the games ever-growing competitive scene all point towards Heroes of the Storm quite possibly becoming the next big MOBA.