The MOBA genre is one of the most popular in the world of video games today, bringing in tens of millions of players daily from around the world. DotA 2 is the most popular game on Steam by a significant margin, with 25.9 million users clocking over 4 billion hours, according to figures released earlier in the year. MOBA titles are even bringing in huge crowds to watch as a top eSport title, with 20 million people tuned in to view the International DotA 2 championships in August. Meanwhile, MOBA grandaddy League of Legends, which averages 27 million users daily, sold out the Sangam Stadium in its recent World Championship.
It's no surprise then, that other developers and publishers have tried to muscle in on the market of Multiplayer Online Battle Arena titles. Blizzard has been quietly working on Heroes of the Storm, a self-described "hero brawler" that brings in characters from a number of the developer's most popular franchises. Meanwhile, EA also tried its hand in the market, with the help of developer Waystone Games. Together, the publisher and developer created Dawngate, and Waystone Games promised that it would be more than just a MOBA "clone."
Unfortunately, it appears as though time has run out on EA's MOBA title. According to a blog post on the Dawngate website, the game has been cancelled whilst in the beta stage. Matt Bromberg, Group General Manager for Waystone Games, announced that the developer had "decided to stop development of Dawngate."
Bromberg took the time to thank the game's "supportive and loyal" community, noting that the news would be disappointing to many. Dawngate had been in beta for nearly 18 months, 6 months of that being an open beta, and Waystone was still adapting the title based on user feedback. "Your straight-up feedback and the friendly reception we received all over the world at events was extremely encouraging and important to us," Bromberg stated. "We appreciate it."
The post also reiterates Waystone's attempt to create more than just a simple MOBA title, and Bromberg said that Dawngate was a title that would have "truly pushed the genre forward in many ways." There are possible hints at the reason for the game's sudden cancellation, too. Bromberg revealed that although the game had grown from launch, it was "not seeing the progress" that Waystone had hoped for - suggesting that perhaps the community had not grown significantly enough to continue development. "This isn't the outcome we wanted," said Bromberg, "but beta testing is about learning and improving, and ultimately, about making difficult decisions about how to proceed."
This announcement may have come as a surprise to Dawngate's fans. After all, a fairly significant note on a new patch for the beta were posted on the same day as the cancellation. Those fans will still have some time left with the title, though. Waystone will "continue to operate the game for the next 90 days." Any players who spent money during the beta will also be entitled to a full refund. Even so, players are bound to be disappointed that the title will be no more.
What do you make of the news? Did you take part in the Dawngate beta? Do you think EA have jumped the gun, or were they right to cancel the game at this point? Let us know in the comments.