There can be no doubt that the MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) genre is immense, with active League of Legends and Dota 2 players easily numbering in the tens of millions, attracting companies like Warner Bros. and DC Comics to create MOBA titles themed with their own gigantic licenses resulting in games like Guardians of Middle-earth and Infinite Crisis respectively.
But what happens when a company like Blizzard harnesses its properties across Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo to create an all-new MOBA? What would that game look like and how enormously successful could it become? The mind boggles.
Blizzard has of course already been thinking about the possibilities, surely ever since the prototypical version of the MOBA genre emerged with DOTA using Warcraft III assets and maps. We’ve heard names like ‘Blizzard DOTA’ and ‘Blizzard All-Stars’ being thrown about before, but more recently a trademark filing for something called ‘Heroes of the Storm’ has come to light, filed under the name AJ Park in New Zealand – the same name and country used to register names for the digital collectible card game, Hearthstone, and Diablo III expansion, Reaper of Souls.
While speculation has already run wild around planet Earth and back again, only a few possibilities for a game to fit the name remain. One possible digital delight could be an expansion for World of Warcraft, but is Blizzard really keen on going through the process of (very) temporarily bumping up active subscribers for the MMORPG before they slide again?
What about an expansion for Hearthstone? Could be, but the real game isn’t even officially released yet, which means ‘Heroes of the Storm’ could be Blizzard’s next massively multiplayer online game? Could be? Pretty unlikely, though. That particular game, as Blizzard has stated, is still a long way off from being revealed.
So… what about a Blizzard MOBA? The name is ‘generic’ enough to be able to include the universes of all three of the developer’s most important franchises, and suitably epic to adorn a Blizzard game. Is Blizzard about to (finally) announce its long awaited MOBA and (finally) capitalise on the extremely rich lore of each universe? It might just be.
What do you think? Is Heroes of the Storm a real game or expansion, or simply Blizzard holding on to a cool name for the future?