The obvious answer is no, but bear with me here..
Think back to a time before battle royale games like PUBG and Fortnite burst unto the scene, I mean you would only have to think back to around 2017 but still, think back to a time before those games blew up, multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games were the be-all end-all of online gaming. Games like Dota 2 and League of Legends ran the scene. At pretty much every cyber cafe you visit you’d hear the terms “GODLIKE”, “ULTRA KILL” or the occasional sound of really bad techno music blaring from the speakers of someones PC. Dota 2 especially was killing it with unprecedented prize pools in Esports amounting to just over 20 million in 2016, so its no surprise that it was Steams most popular game at the time.
But then, everything changed when the
fire PUBG nation attacked. And what an attack it was. Okay it wasn’t an attack but you get the picture.
Battle royale games completely shifted the landscape of the scene. PUBG even won Steam’s 2018 game of the year! So what went wrong for MOBAs? Nothing really. Games like Dota 2 and League of Legends actually paved the way for the success of PUBG, Fortnite and the like, it even spawned mobile versions such as Mobile Legends. They popularized the idea of a zero upfront charge, banking instead on in game cosmetic purchases in addition to building the foundation of the rise of livestreaming Esports. From Hollywood celebs like Drake to bona fide athletes like Neymar, battle royale games have captured the hearts of many with its straightforward, easy to understand concept. I mean, compared to learning hero/champion skills and which items do what, running around shooting other players does sound a lot easier for an entry level gamer.
Auto-Chess to the rescue!
While Dota 2 has recently reclaimed top spot from PUBG, this is largely thanks to Auto-Chess, a custom game mode made by Chinese developers Drodo Games which focuses more on strategy. The game puts players on chess board like field. This smaller battlefield comes with different settings that put emphasis on unit placement and resource management.
With the launch of Apex Legends recently, it’ll be interesting to see what the future holds for MOBA games. Mobile games like Mobile Legends may just be an unlikely saviour for the genre, but its still too early to tell.
Authors opinion: With League of Legends going strong as ever, MOBA games are here to stay. The diversity that battle royale games bring to scene is more than welcome and there are more than enough gamers to go around. The decline in Dota 2 player base is somewhat worrying, seeing as its one of the games that put Esports on the map. I doubt the gaming community will ever let a game with such sentimental value die out though.