Chinese gaming giant Tencent is making Nintendo games now. Switch is getting Arena of Valor, which is Tencent’s multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) for mobile devices. It is a 5-on-5 action strategy battler that will launch into beta on Switch this holiday.
Arena of Valor is a traditional MOBA with three lanes, creeps, and characters based on the heroes from the original Defense of the Ancients (which itself was a mod for Warcraft 3). The game already has more than 1 million downloads on Google Play and iOS, but it could reach an entirely new audience on Switch.
But more important, it’s one of the strongest games in China, and Tencent showing confidence in the Switch is a sign of success for Nintendo.
MOBAs have already dominated PC, and they are beginning to establish themselves on mobile. But League of Legends and Dota 2 clones have not really found their way to consoles. Instead, console MOBAs have tried to adapt to the platform with different camera styles (Smite) or direct control over characters (Paragon). But Arena of Valor could find success by bringing standard MOBA action to a player base that isn’t used to it.