Well it’s been brewing for a while now but it appears as though the MOBA’s which were originally fringe titles for the competitive multiplayer obsessed have dethroned World of Warcraft as the world’s most played game. This is interesting for many reasons, the most obvious being that if it wasn’t for Blizzard and their RTS map editors none of this would have happened in the first place. It’s also worth noting that for a long time many companies hoped to dethrone WoW with another MMO, the thinking being that if people enjoyed WoW then they would enjoy a WoW clone or something similar, but this ended up not being the case. In the end it was the MOBAs, a genre of games that grew naturally within the community that would surpass possibly one of the most important games of a generation.
Today’s first story comes from VentureBeat which is reporting that League of Legends is “crushing” WoW within China’s internet cafés. The word “crushing” isn’t an overstatement, according to the article LoL was played in the monitored Chinese internet cafés for over 83,000 hours, vastly more than WoW’s measly 6,000. It’s actually impressive that a game as old as WoW still sees as much play time as it does, but it’s clear that its reign as the number 1 game in the world is over. I’m sure the game will stick around for a long time, possibly another decade, but I doubt it will ever see its former glory.
Now that League of Legends is the new king it’s time to talk about the friendly rivalry between it and Dota 2. According to Gameindsutry.biz, Dota 2 is surpassing League of Legends as the most played game in the west, a fact that has Riot a bit skeptical. This fact comes from DFC Intelligence and is being rebutted by PCGamer, NeoGaf, and Riot themselves. Their data, collected from Xfire, doesn’t quiet mesh with what is known about both titles. Even Valve’s own concurrent players statistic sits around 250K players while LoL has reported over 5 million at their peak. Still, Dota 2 is still in beta and it’s slowly growing bit by bit each week. It will be interesting to see the actual numbers from both companies, but I doubt we will see them any time soon.
It’s been about a year since the Kickstarter explosion and it’s about time for some of the game’s promised during that time to be released. One of those games is Shadowrun Returns which according to their Kickstarter page will be available through Steam in June, yes this June. According to their Kickstarter page those who pre-ordered the game or backed the project will be able to access all of their bonus swag on day one. This is a pretty quick development cycle if you ask me, as the game was in the very rough early stages only a year ago. Maybe it’s easier for developers to work without having to fulfill all sorts of publisher requirements, hmm?
Speaking of Kickstarter development, Project Eternity released a video today of their in-game environments and all I have to say is wow. It looks as though they have a really pretty and awfully efficient engine to run their upcoming RPG. According to them players won’t need some fancy computer to run it either as the demo is being run on a completely “normal” PC. I’m now also really excited for this game as well as Shadowrun, I’m not quite sure when Project Eternity will be released, but I’m glad to know it will look this good when it is finished.
Please say it isn’t so – Greg Zeschuk, former VP at Bioware, claims that they and not EA had “complete creative control” over their development while working on titles such as Dragon Age 2 and Mass Effect 3. This comes on the heels of The Consumerist crowning EA the worst company in America once again this year, and it was in that piece that they talked about how EAs rushed production cycle of Mass Effect 3 caused the ending that everyone hated. But that isn’t the case, at least according to Zeschuk, who claims EA had little to do with their development. If this is true, EA isn’t really responsible for the poor reception of these games, but I doubt that will do anything to repair their image at this point.