Gaming fads emerge every now and then but some do not remain fads. MOBA and Battle Royale are two major gaming genres that have earned a significant place in the gaming realm. Believed to be temporary trends, MOBA and Battle Royale games proved otherwise.
The recent gaming trend is associated with the notion of MOBA, but with a unique twist. Categorized as Auto Chess, these emerging games do not literally follow the dynamics of chess yet are named so.
While the Battle Royale concept in games has existed for a while and PUBG and Fortnite only adopted it recently, the case with Auto Chess is a tad bit different.
It all started when Chinese Developer Drodo Studios released Dota Auto Chess on Steam Workshop in January 2019. Soon the game grabbed the attention of currently over 9.5 million subscribers on Steam, which is not a small number by any means.
Current Versions of Auto Chess
Originally launched as a Steam Workshop mod for Dota 2 MOBA, the game faced an upsurge in its popularity and Valve, the official Dota 2 publisher, released its own official Auto Chess version, Dota Underlords. Shortly after the release, Riot promptly jumped onto the Auto Chess bandwagon and announced a similar free game version called Teamfight Tactics for League of Legends.
Auto Chess Game Concept
The game mechanics of Auto Chess are the main reason why avid gamers have been so hooked to it. The player purchases units and deploys them, the units fight automatically and the last one standing among the eight players wins the game.
That’s just the most succinct yet encompassing outlook on the concept of these Auto Chess games. The mechanics are challenging and it takes time to win yet overall the player has an interesting experience.
It surely does not require any particular skill as such to become good at Auto Chess since everything is being done automatically, but the game does test your ability to strategize, make quick decisions and how accurately you place your troops.
Collaboration with Epic Games
With the rise in the popularity of Dota Auto Chess, it did not take Valve long to release its own version of Auto Chess for Steam in June 2019. It was probable for both Drodo Studios and Valve to collaborate for the release of another Auto Chess version but that just did not happen.
As per Valve, both Drodo and Valve decided not to proceed with the anticipated collaboration but no clear reason was mentioned. Soon however, it became evident as to why the likely collaboration did not take place. Drodo Studios announced at the PC Gaming Show that it would be collaborating with Epic Games to develop a standalone PC version of Auto Chess exclusively for the Epic Games Store.
Will Epic Games Make or Break Auto Chess?
With 33 million active Steam accounts, undoubtedly the greater segment of the gaming market belongs to Steam. The arrival of an upfront competitor seemed highly unlikely to many but since Epic Games launched its Epic Games Store, the wave of competition has begun to shift in a different direction.
The revenue share model employed by Steam and Epic Games varies to an extent. While steam follows the 70/30 revenue split, Epic offers a much higher rate. Only 12% of the revenue goes to Epic Games while 88% goes to the original game developer and publisher. If money is the concern, Drodo Studios may have actually made the decision in favor of monetary advantage in the long run – after all even Ubisoft deemed Steam’s revenue model as unrealistic.
As for the answer to whether epic games will make or break Auto Chess it is likely the former will come to pass. A primary example worth a mention is Fortnite. With over 250 million players worldwide in March 2019 alone, Epic Games easily convinces developers they have the power to reach out to a global audience.
Still, Steam is a gaming giant with a huge market and a massive audience difficult to surpass. Epic Games can remain on par with the competition since they chose to stick to exclusive games only, limiting their market domain, albeit catering to targeted audiences with more revenue for developers.
Why is it a Good Decision?
Steam users have exhibited disfavor and mixed reviews ever since ransomware was discovered in Fortnite downloads. Yet CEO Tim Sweeney of Epic Games believes it is necessary to introduce exclusive rights to games. Sweeney is certain the exclusive model is a good fit since the current revenue share model of Valve is not favored by developers and publishers.
Sweeny even tweeted “If Steam committed to a permanent 88% revenue share for all developers and publishers without major strings attached, Epic would hastily organize a retreat from exclusives (while honoring our partner commitments) and consider putting our own games on Steam.”, claiming Epic Games would withdraw its current model of exclusive games if Steam changes its revenue model.
Epic Games Store currently hosts 85 million players and, the number is expected to increase making it clearer as to why Drodo Studios decided to collaborate with Epic Games and not Valve.
The list of games on Epic Games Store is growing – Cyberpunk will be joining the platform along with 15 other highly anticipated games. As for the Epic Games Store PC exclusive games, Shenmue 3, Untitled Goose Game and Chivalry are to name a few.
Now if you are eager to test the Auto Chess mod by Epic Games, all you need is a stable internet connection. With the emergence of internet portals like buytvinternetphone, you can acquire high-speed connectivity and the game that once lagged will run faultlessly!