History of MOBA Part 4
by Mowen July 19, 2012 @ 05:07pm
On October 13, 2010 Valve announced it would be making "Dota 2," a year after Icefrog was hired by Valve and told the DotA community that good things were coming for them. Valve stated that their goal for Dota 2 was to keep the game exactly the same as Dota, only with updated graphics. As a company Valve has a history of buying popular mods and making a commercial game from them, as we can see from the CounterStrike series.
Shortly after Valve announced their new MOBA game, Blizzard put their foot in the door by announcing they planned to make a "Blizzard Dota" at Blizzcon; October 22, 2010. They wanted to create a Dota-style game featuring in-game characters from the different Blizzard universes such as Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo. This game is intended to be a mod for Blizzard's currently popular StarCraft 2.
In July of 2011 Riot announced that their Season 2 League of Legends tournaments would feature 5 million dollars in prizes. This is the largest cash-pool for any game in e-sports history. For an unknown start-up company to have the funds to pull this off is really astounding; Riot Games has been far more successful than anyone could have guessed. By investing so much money into their competitive scene they have created a scene that continues to compel its audience to keep playing and improve their skills.
However, Valve wasn't about to let Riot steal the show in the MOBA e-sports scene. In August 2011 Valve hosted a DotA 2 tournament, "The International", at Gamescon in Cologne, Germany. For this tournament they invited and sponsored 16 of the world's most accomplished DotA teams, and had them play Dota 2 for the first time at this tournament with 1 million dollars on the line. Valve wanted to prove that Dota 2 was an exact copy of DotA, and the pro DotA players confirmed that by playing close to the level of skill seen in original DotA tournaments. This was also the first time gameplay of Dota 2 had ever been seen, so the DotA community was quite excited for this tournament.
Blizzard's DotA game was having trouble getting its feet off the ground. Blizzard announced that they were going to start over from scratch because they found their game was too unforgiving to newcomers. This is a problem typical of the MOBA genre, but it didn't fit Blizzard's game philosophy of being easy to access but difficult to master. 2 months later Blizzard revealed a new trailer for Blizzard DotA that depicted the game as more casual and silly. It would be interesting to see a MOBA game that is very casual be made, since there aren't really on the market at the moment. MOBAs typically aim for a competitive target audience, but this game could reach a new audience and be quite successful. However, I imagine it will not be very easy to access for casual gamers if it remains a mod for StarCraft II, which is certainly not a casual game.
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