While fans eagerly await any news whatsoever on Nintendo's online service for Switch, one important detail has surfaced: free-to-play games won't require a subscription to play. This is confirmed in the case of Arena of Valor, a MOBA game from Chinese company Tencent. And if Arena of Valor can get a free pass, then it makes sense for bigger games like Fortnite to also work without a Nintendo Online subscription.
Tencent stated in very clear terms that people will be able to Arena of Valor without a paid subscription when the game launches in September, says Variety. This is an important move for the game as it hopes to take its growing mobile dominance and bring it to consoles.
The game's developers reportedly said that Arena Of Valor "could be used to introduce esports to the Nintendo Switch." Because apparently Splatoon 2, Rocket League, and the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate don't count.
Other details from the Variety story highlight just how much Tencent in investing into Arena of Valor's Switch launch. Global servers are being prepared for the Switch version so that the game can support worldwide matches. A Switch-exclusive "hook war" mode will have players swinging their Joy-Cons in motion control battles. Because every eSport needs motion-controlled mini-games.
Still, it's nice to see a company that focuses on eSports put so much effort into a Nintendo console. And it's doubly nice to see Nintendo willing to play ball and let games like Arena Of Valor slip through the cracks of its paid online service. It means there's hope for Fortnite, Paladins, and any other free-to-play games that come to Switch. These games could go a long way to diversify the Switch's library and reshape Nintendo's image as a company that doesn't work well with third parties.
Arena of Valor is coming to Switch sometime in September. For those who already play it on mobile, Tencent will soon be hosting a "status match" to let you transfer certain rewards from your existing account to the Switch version.