Why Heroes of the Storm Could (Not) Be The Next Big MOBA
Last week, I wrote an article discussing the reasons why Blizzard Entertainment’s new MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, has the potential to become the next big game within the genre. From Blizzard’s reputation to the competitive scene that is expanding at an impressive rate, Heroes has a lot of things going for it. With all of this in mind, there are still a couple of big obstacles that may make it difficult for the game to become wildly successful.
The first major obstacle that Heroes of the Storm faces is the fact that the genre may simply be over-saturated. League of Legends and DOTA 2 both have millions of monthly players, as well as hundreds of thousands of fans tuning in to watch their strongly established competitive scenes. There are also many other MOBAs including Smite and Infinite Crisis, which may not be as successful as League or DOTA, yet they have carved out their own little niche within the genre. Though Heroes of the Storm is bringing a unique take to the genre, there may simply be too many MOBAs that are more established that will attract potential players.
The second major obstacle that may stop Heroes of the Storm in becoming a major success is how team focused the game is. At first, this is one of the big reasons why I became hooked on Heroes. When I started playing I was able to get a group of five friends to play with and we would play for hours on end. However, for one reason or another, some stopped playing. Once we were unable to get a full group of five players, the game just was not the same. This is because unlike in other MOBAs, in Heroes, having one player not being on the same page as the rest of the team will almost certainly lead to a loss. In other MOBAs, where you have the ability to earn individual gold and experience, there is at least a chance for you to carry a worthless teammate. Though I personally love how team-focused the game is, it is hard to deny that the game is the most enjoyable when you are able to play with a full team of five friends. This has the potential of being a double-edged sword for the game’s longevity. It has the potential of bringing large groups of friends into the game. However, if a couple of players in these groups stop playing, there is a good chance that the people they played with might follow suit.
Now, it is important to remember that Heroes of the Storm is already incredibly popular considering that the game is still in closed-Beta. I am not claiming that Heroes will be a complete flop, but rather just questioning whether or not it will ever get to the popularity levels of League of Legends or DOTA 2. The obstacles that Blizzard is facing with Heroes are not because it is a bad game, but rather because they are trying to bring drastic changes to a genre that has been more or less the same thing since the original DOTA. The question is whether or not their unique take on the MOBA genre will pay off for them, but this is something that only time will tell.