Ubisoft’s scientists have done the unthinkable and combined the two biggest new gaming genres of the last few years. The publisher revealed today that it plans to release Might & Magic: Chess Royale for mobile and PC on January 30. As the name suggests, it mixes together elements of auto battlers (think Auto Chess) and battle royale games (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite).
In Might & Magic: Chess Royale, you put together an army of units from the Might & Magic series in a fight against 99 other players. The game borrows a lot from Dota: Auto Chess, Dota Underlords, and Teamfight Tactics. Players must focus on creating powerful synergies between units. But Chess Royale drops the teams and instead has every player fighting for themselves. As in Fortnite or PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, you want to outlast everyone else to get the victory.
While this isn’t a direct spinoff of Ubisoft’s Might & Magic Heroes strategy games, fans of those games will recognize many of the units. And some knowledge should transfer from one game to the other.
Might & Magic: Chess Royale will have to compete with more established auto battlers
Ubisoft has already begun testing Might & Magic: Chess Royale in a soft launch. This has enabled the game’s designers to work on optimizations.
One of the big goals is to create relatively short matches. Ubisoft claims that you can “lose quick” or “win quick” with game sessions that last 10 minutes. That could help distinguish it from the auto battler crowd. Dota Underlords and Teamfight Tactics can have 30-minute matches or longer.
But Ubisoft is definitely chasing the trends. And that’s going to make it challenging to find an audience. Teamfight Tactics and Dota Underlords are already major hits with millions of players.
Of course, that doesn’t mean Chess Royale doesn’t have a chance. Fortnite and then Apex Legends proved that new games could come along and thrive in the battle royale space. Maybe Chess Royale will do the same for autobattlers.