After The International 2017’s massive success, and League of Legends unstoppable growth, something has to give. Many point out that it is the MMOs who got siphoned by MOBAs. This is not necessarily an accurate projection. Players can still support different games at the same time. MMO’s continue to grow still. What people should be looking out for is the bleak situation and future of the RTS—the genre which the MOBA was forked.
MOBAs are extremely popular right now, but what that might not ring true later. The video game industry is a broad industry and serves different audience with different preference. There are crossovers and industry-wide implementations that seem to be a little out-of-whack like gameplay enhancing microtransactions in full-priced games. However, this is not necessarily the norm.
The industry follows trends, hence, MOBAs today. Tomorrow, it will be another thing. A few years ago people are quite done of World War II shooters so the biggest of publishers ushered the premise to modern times. People get tired of it again. Now, both Battlefield and Call of Duty is back in World Wars again. Is this video games or fashion?
MMORPGs are still very much alive. They do not necessarily have the population numbers WoW at its prime boasted, but the business model is still sustainable. Black Desert was one of the most requested MMO in territories where it is not available yet. Elder Scrolls Online bounced back from its horrible beginnings. Speaking of bouncing back, no other game had ever bounced back into relevance like Final Fantasy XIV. It was an astonishing sight that the game could rise from the ashes.
Much of the MOBA’s are getting nerfed down to be able to handle casual players. DOTA 2 still is on top of the food chain in terms of skill level. The amount of teamwork and individual talent is enormous and the pro players are well compensated for their jobs. League of Legends is more popular, in relative term, compared to DOTA 2 because it is more accommodating and not a daunting task to learn.
Fearless forecast: the next genre that would saturate the market is large-scale battle royal like the PLAYERUNKNOWN: BATTLEGROUNDS. People will be begging for the return for deathmatch first-person shooters. EA, Activision, Ubisoft, Microsoft, and probably Capcom will have their own battle royal shooters. There is also a very good possibility that they will usher in battle royal modes on their established brands and franchises. Call of Duty: Battle Royal? Battlefield Battle Royal?
Genres don’t actively supplant each other. There are always dedicated fanbase. The ever-moving target is the mainstream audience which also includes the niche audience as a subset because as I stated earlier: people can play games of different genres at the same time.