Available now is our latest market report. We have taken an in-depth look at the MOBA sub-genre, specifically its presence on the European markets. This is an extensive report, looking at each game as well as every single market, and drawing an interesting picture of the current trends in the genre.
With an estimated revenue for all the games in Europe of €173m ($237m) for 2013, MOBA games have been growing very rapidly in the past few years and should continue to develop for the foreseeable future. Below, you can find the foreword to the report as well as the table of contents. As usual, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
The MOBA genre is still in its infancy. Born out of the Warcraft 3 mod community with the Defense of the Ancients map, it was a genre limited to that space for many years. As this community grew it reached a critical point that either prompted game studios to consider the genre as viable for a stand-alone game, or the community matured enough to take their expertise from modding into full game development.
The definition of the MOBA is still evolving. Like any newly created popular terminology, its usage will vary from person to person until it reaches a point of compromise (or academics dissecting the game landscape narrow down a very specific definition). We have decided to stick to a rather strict definition for this report and only integrate the games that have directly inherited from the Defense of the Ancients core mechanics: players in teams each control a powerful unit and try to outplay the opposing team by controlling the flow of a battle, destroying objectives or simply killing the enemy players’ units.
For players, the main appeal of a MOBA lies in the depth of gameplay: the numerous units available, the number of development options for those units and the understanding of the different match-ups to react to the opponents’ decisions. It also means these games are very competitive, require a great deal of time to be properly mastered and have created communities that are highly engaged, yet passionately demanding and not always tolerant (one could say toxic).
However it is that passion from the players that it is a contributing factor in MOBAs emerging as a major genre at the moment – and the audience of those games is equally demanding when it comes to the quality of the games, making it a difficult genre to enter.
It doesn’t appear to scare new entrants though. As we finalised this report earlier this year there, came a point where we had to stop adding titles to the list of announced MOBAs as these new game announcements were being made on a weekly basis.
We feel this report is being released at a very interesting time for the genre. It will allow a line to be drawn in the sand, and a snapshot to be created for the state of the European MOBA market. And it should help us (and you) see where the market will go from here and how this new genre will develop and grow.
Thomas BIDAUX, ICO Partners CEO