A Copycat's Tale: How did Moontoon's MLBB become so successful?

6개월 전


What's up, ketchup.

First of all, I'd like to emphasize that this blog entry was supposed to be an overview of MLBB's arcade game, Magic Chess. It's a game which is very similar to LOL's Teamfight Tactics (TFT). I've been playing it (experimentally) for almost 2 months now and it's been a month since I have reached the mythic tier, which is the top tier in the game. But when I was writing the intro I noticed that it's already over 500 words so I decided to separate the original blog into two parts. The first one which we will tackle today is about that long introduction on Mobile Legends Bang Bang's(MLBB) success as a MOBA. How did a 'copycat' became so successful especially here in South East Asia? And the second part which we'll be dealing later in the next gaming post is about the overview of MLBB's Magic Chess in a Mythic tier perspective. Without further ado let's start this one.

It's undeniable that some solid LOL and RIOT fans are infuriated of Montoon and Mobile Legends. There were lawsuits filed because of intellectual copyright claims and I think it was around mid-2018 when Riot's parent company Tencent won a 2.9 million dollars lawsuit against Moontoon's CEO.

Frankly, MLBB was undoubtedly a copycat of LOL, that is already cold hard truth. MLBB is a downgraded version of LOL, be it gameplay or graphics, it is always a tier or maybe a few tiers below.

I was a casual Dota 2 player back in the days and then switched to LOL a few years later. For me LOL was more convenient compared to DOTA 2, particularly with regards to the average game duration. Anyway, this is my experience from more than 5 years ago so it might not be as accurate compared to the present. I was in college back then and my gang often played games in-between breaks. Usually, we have this 2 hour break and with DOTA 2 there were quite a few times when the gaming duration exceeded that 2 hours. We were often left with two options, it's either to quit the game and attend the next class, or to skip class and continue playing. Not very healthy and I do not recommend anything, especially choosing the second one.

For us, as college students back then playing MOBA was never about something technical like graphics and such, it's more on convenience and of course the fun of playing with friends. We even finished most of Frozen Throne's Mafa TD's Ultra Hard Mode Maps during weekends which took us no less than 3 hours for every game.

Talking about convenience, I think that's it one of the major factors why MLBB is having success in the gaming and eSports industry for more than 2 consecutive years now. It's hard to define success but one being part of the SEA games is already enough for a convincing evidence. Love it or hate it, MLBB has become an essential for the majority of South East Asian gaming enthusiasts.

MLBB's ads always says that you can play have a fulfillng mobile MOBA in an average duration of 10 minutes. Well, that was quite misleading, in my experience the average game duration would be around 15-25 minutes. Still compared with pc MOBA like LOL and DOTA 2 it is undoubtedly a few times shorter.

Does a shorter game duration better?

Not exactly, there are other mobile games like Arena of Valor which failed in creating an impact. Personally, I like AOV but somehow they failed on providing the needs of the customers. Like AOV, MLBB started with alot of bugs and connectivity issues but it is evident that through time the team is striving to improve the game and people realize it. Between 2 good games I'd stick with the one show empathy towards the users and that was an obvious choice. I think that somehow this is the core reason why MLBB outcompete most of it's competition especially here in SEA region.

Smartphones as a gaming device is often belittled because of limited controls making it very challenging to display skills especially in competitive gaming. Amidst the controversial copyright issues, Moontoon's MLBB did a great job in improving the image of mobile gaming. Tournaments are becoming a norm. Being able to play through the simplest device available, the smartphone, MLBB outcompete LOL and Dota 2 in terms of accessibility. Currently the whole world is facing a pandemic rendering PC and other gaming device closed because of the threat.

In most South East Asian countries particularly in the Philippines a large number gamers only have access to PC and internet through these hubs and cafes. Because of the Covid-19 these establishments are shut until further notice. And most of these demands are redirected to mobile. LOL is launching Wild Rift this 2020. All of us are excited, good competition drives the best developments for both games. I'm expecting so much from the LOL Wild Rift, being from Riot I know that they will not fail. Cross fingers for both hands and feet. :D

Let's face it, in gaming when you're mainly playing through phone you receive the least amount of respect. It's very understandable because of limited controls and the lack of worthy titles to play and display your skills. I had an old PS2 in which I played games like God of War II and Need for Speed, played mostly MOBA games on PC during high school and college but now I'm spending most of my time playing through my phone. For me the device doesn't really matter as long as you are having fun.

Well, this will be the end.
Thank you for reading.
Stay safe everyone.

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