In case you somehow haven’t heard yet, the multiplayer online battle arena genre (or MOBA for short) is big business: What started years ago as the “Defense of the Ancients” player-versus-player map for Warcraft III has ballooned into a full-fledged real-time strategy genre where teams of professional players compete on a worldwide stage for millions in cash prizes.
Case in point: The upcoming Smite World Championship, unfolding at the Cobb Performing Arts Centre in Atlanta, Georgia from January 9-11. Eight teams across five regions will compete for over $1.7 million dollars in cash – and lucky attendees will get their first crack at the game’s upcoming Xbox One version, which makes its first public appearance at the World Championship.
“MOBA is the world’s most popular game genre, but it hasn’t been available on any next-gen console until Smite,” said Todd Harris, Chief Operating Officer of Smite developer Hi-Rez Studios. “Console was a fairly obvious opportunity, and Microsoft also saw the huge potential for a free-to-play MOBA on Xbox One.”
And if you’re wondering how an Xbox One adaptation of this traditionally PC-centric genre will feel once it migrates from keyboard to controller, you have nothing to worry about. “In terms of game control, some of the PC players already use a console controller, so the basics work well – but they are being further optimized for accessibility and comfort,” Harris explained. “Most of the development work has [revolved] around optimizing the user interface for an awesome living room experience.”
The pro community has nothing to worry about, either: Hi-Rez Studios plans on going big with the Xbox One version of Smite when it comes to the tournament scene. “There will be Xbox One tournaments,” Harris confirmed. “On PC, Smite is the fastest new game franchise to have an event with over $1 million in prizing. If our current momentum continues, Smite will be one of the top e-Sports for Xbox One.”
Indeed, Harris predicted, “Being on Xbox One will only further increase the pro community and viewer population.” We couldn’t agree more.
Check out Hi-Rez Studios’ official Smite World Championship page for more details – and get pumped for the Xbox One console-exclusive launch of Smite next year. Who knows? The next world champion could be you!