The Auto Chess craze has reached a crescendo and excitement for the future of the new genre is at an all-time high. After reaching over 10 million players in its first three months, we are now on the cusp of three completely different stand-alone versions of Auto Chess all releasing at the same time. Right now is without a doubt the best opportunity for publishers to be looking into ways to capitalize on this untapped market.
Auto Chess is the easy to pick up, difficult to master new game that has become a sensation on Twitch. It began as a mod to Valve's Dota 2 (itself originally a mod of Warcraft 3, but that's a story for another time) and is difficult to describe: it's part battle royale, part board game, part MOBA, and part RTS all rolled into one. If you haven't tried it yet you can play Auto Chess Mobile on android or iOS, or, later this week Dota: Underworlds and Teamfight Tactics will be available on PC.
If you are a fan, you've probably fantasized about your favorite property as an Auto Chess game. Here are three franchises that absolutely NEED to be an Auto Chess:
Gotta Chess 'Em All
There are two things Pokémon are made for: battling and evolving, and Auto Chess games have a ton of both. In every current game, combining three of the same chess piece upgrades that unit to a two star, and then a three-star version of that piece. Each time visually "evolving" as well as getting a stat increase. How perfect would that be for Pokémon!? Combine three Squirtles to get a Wartortle, three Wartortles to get a Blastoise, you get the idea. On top of that, the different elemental types of Pokemon make the franchise a wonderful fit for an Auto Chess game. Fill out your board with fire and rock type synergies for damage over time and strong defense, or ice and psychic for a slower, crowd control focused game. Pokémon is absolutely the ideal franchise for an Auto Chess game.
Now We Come Full Circle
You need a PhD in Game History to understand the genesis of Auto Chess games, but one thing you need to know is that none of them would even exist without a little game called Warcraft III. Blizzard is without a doubt looking at Auto Chess right now and wondering how they might get in on the action. We know they are investing heavily in mobile games, and mobile is a fantastic platform for the new genre. It is unfortunate that Heroes of the Storm is now longer in active development, lest we may have gotten a Blizzard Auto Chess game sooner rather than later.
(Kate) Bishop To (Frank) Castle
The fun thing about imagining how a Marvel Auto Chess game would work is considering how the characters would be organized into types. Do you group them by the team they fight on, giving synergies to the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Fantastic Four? Do you group them instead by the type of power they have, making separate classes for flying, super strength, and energy? The possibilities are almost as endless as the number of heroes themselves. It isn't unrealistic to think we'll see a Marvel Auto Chess, either. There are a number of Marvel mobile games available and they are highly profitable. If I was Marvel I would seriously be considering getting in on the hype.
Auto Chess may be a new genre, but it is already close to the hearts of so many players. Major publishers would do well to pay attention to the genre over the coming weeks as Riot, Valve, and Drodo each release their respective games and try to grab the biggest audience. The last game standing may soon come up against the likes of Pokémon, Blizzard, or Marvel, and that is a very exciting prospect indeed.