This week, Blizzard officially launched Heroes of the Storm, the company’s free-to-play MOBA designed to combat genre leaders League of Legends and Dota 2. To celebrate its release, the Honest Trailers team have put together a video hyping the game in their own inimitable style.
If you’ve seen any of the previous videos in the series, you’ll know that these trailers aren’t afraid of poking fun at the game in question, and Heroes of the Storm is no exception. Everything from its name to its lengthy development process is fair game for mockery over the course of the four-minute clip.
While Honest Trailers might accuse Blizzard’s latest title of ‘ripping off the other games that ripped off their old games’, it’s easy to see why the company is investing so heavily in the genre. World of Warcraft subscriptions continue to fall, but the most popular MOBA titles have no problem maintaining a healthy player base.
Competitive online gaming has never been bigger, but it’s clear that players are moving away from MMO experiences towards the MOBA genre. Over the course of 2009 and 2010, the release of League of Legends and Heroes of Newerth , not to mention the announcement of Dota 2, marked the beginning of the boom, and now we’re seeing it hit the mainstream.
Blizzard has invested in a broad television advertising campaign to publicize the release of Heroes of the Storm, demonstrating the studio’s intent to carve out its section of the market as it continues to grow — not unlike its early strategy with World of Warcraft, which proved to be an unprecedented milestone for the MMO genre at large.
It remains to be seen whether the title will enjoy similar success, but it does have a precedent in terms of the free-to-play model in the form of card battler Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. That title has managed to amass more than 20 million players in its first six months of release.
Heroes of the Storm could be just as successful, so it’s good to see Honest Trailers asking the important questions about the game, like “what would a sniper rifle do against the devil?”, “should a dwarf king be made to dress like a teenage girl from an anime?”, and “aren’t MOBA games just a lot of clicking?”
Honest Trailers might be making fun of Heroes of the Storm, but the channel always chooses releases that are likely to be hits. With more than 300,000 views already as of the time of writing, it’s clear that Blizzard’s MOBA effort has already got plenty of attention — now it’s time to see whether it can turn that interest into a huge player base.
Heroes of the Storm is available to download now for PC.