Square-Enix Joins the MOBA Scene with Lord of Vermilion
Square-Enix recently announced that they will be joining the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre with Lord of Vermilion Arena. MOBA’s have become extremely popular due to the mega-hits League of Legends and Dota 2, which have become the largest games in eSports with tournament winnings over 10 million dollars. Blizzard is set to release their MOBA, Heroes of the Storm sometime next year and Square-Enix is following suit with Lord of Vermilion Arena. While this title may never get a U.S. release it is exciting to see this company do something unrelated to the Final Fantasy universe for a change. However, it is curious why they wouldn’t make a MOBA using a similar format to Heroes of the Storm featuring characters from Final Fantasy. This game would have an instant worldwide audience and if done well would be able to compete with heavy hitters, LOL and Dota 2.
Lord of Vermilion, a series that most of the West have never heard of, is very popular in Japan. It is an arcade game that is played on a huge digital tabletop where players use trading cards with little microchips in them that look like a sim card for a smartphone. These chips represent a certain character or monster and are strategically placed on the game board which in turn puts a digital version of the character or monster on the screen. I was able to witness this in action during my numerous visits to Japan and have always been jealous that this type of arcade game will never been seen in the United States.
The MOBA version of the game will be a seven versus seven fight between monsters that are summoned from unique groups such as beasts, demons, and undead. Players’ decks and avatars will be fully customizable and maps will feature NPC monsters to provide experience to players in a similar fashion of Creeps in Dota 2.
While scheduled for a 2015 release in Japan, those lucky enough to get their hands on the alpha testing will be able to experience this new MOBA between October 17th and19th. This game will only be available in Japan so keep your eyes on Twitch.tv during the alpha testing period for an early viewing of the first MOBA by Square-Enix. Also, if you are able to speak Japanese there is a signup page to become a tester for this game at lova.jp. They are currently looking for 2000 testers to help fine tune the game before its 2015 release in Japan. So don’t hesitate and sign up today!