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Gaming trends come in waves. Recently, we’ve had modern military shooters, $1 iPhone games, and then free-to-play mobile games with in-app purchases. The popular trend right now is free-to-play multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) titles. As with any gaming craze, Zynga is making moves to capitalize on it.
Today, the social-game publisher revealed details about Solstice Arena for tablets and smartphones. The MOBA follows in the footsteps of Riot’s League of Legends and Valve’s Dota 2 PC games, but Zynga wants to take that playstyle to the wide-open mobile market.
“Our main goal with Solstice Arena is to take gameplay we love from a genre we love and transform it in such a way that allowed anyone — hardcore fans and casual players — to experience the thrill of multiplayer online battle arena gaming right from their mobile devices,” a Team Solstice spokesperson wrote on the game’s website. “We hope [some will] see a high-fidelity, well-balanced MOBA. To [others], we want Solstice Arena to simply be an awesome fighting game with great graphics.”
Solstice Arena will enter closed beta soon. Players can sign up on the game’s official website for a chance to get access to that testing.
Like Dota 2 and League of Legends, Solstice takes place in a fantasy world where heroes collaborate to take on teams of other heroes. Zynga is positioning Solstice Arena to generate revenue with in-game purchases that enable players to customize their characters, but Team Solstice is stressing that the title won’t have any pay-to-win bonuses.
“Solstice Arena is free-to-play and fair to play,” reads the Team Solstice blog. “Above all, we want to preserve the core progression of MOBA competition.”
Zynga isn’t the first company to bring a MOBA to mobile devices. Gameloft released Heroes of Order & Chaos on Android and iOS in 2012.
Team Solstice was previously known as developer A Bit Lucky. Zynga acquired that studio in September specifically based on what it saw in this title.
While Riot and Valve battle each other for dominance of the lucrative MOBA market on PC, Zynga is taking a blue-sea approach by releasing that style of game in a market with far less competition.