Is Overwatch the Harbinger for the End of MOBAs?

Is the Success of Overwatch just a one off, or are we finally beginning to see the decline of League of Legends and MOBA's as a whole?

Last month it was reported by MonteCristo on Twitter that Overwatch had dethroned League of Legends from its top spot as the most played game within PC Bangs in South Korea. A major feat, to say the least. And one that  begs the question: is this the beginning of a trend that sees people leaving MOBAs behind in favor of new IP's? 

League of Legends is the most successful MOBA and game ever. By far the most popular and lucrative, it seemed only a couple of years ago everyone I knew was playing League, with new people joining daily. However, are we starting to see a decline in the amount of users, and the subsequent wavering of what has been seen as an almost infallible titan in the market?

With the worldwide release of Overwatch, League of Legends was knocked to the 2nd spot in PC bang rankings in South Korea -- marking the first time it had been knocked out of the top spot in 204 weeks. I use League of Legends as an example purely because of the size of the market it takes up. It's a big fish in a tiny pond -- kind of like a blue whale in a public swimming pool. It's far too large to ignore, hence why these numbers are significant. It just wouldn't carry as much weight to say that Overwatch has dethroned smaller MOBA's like Heroes of the Storm, SMITE and Dota 2. 

It is impossible to ignore the hype that the release of Overwatch generated. It permeated all levels of society and was all anyone I knew wanted to play or talk about. Now we have to wonder whether it has the staying power to disrupt the oversaturated (and frankly stagnant) MOBA industry as a whole?

MOBAs have become complacent in their success; and they've reached a pinnacle of success from which they can only fall. Overwatch is just the first game that has managed too wrestle that top spot from League of Legends and MOBAs as a whole -- which for a game that costs around £40, is a feat unto itself. Overwatch is just the first game to manage to do this, and it sure won't be the last. It just proved that it was possible. (This quote from Iron Man 2 Sums it up nicely.)

The MOBA genre in general has reached critical mass and has nowhere else to go but down from now on -- especially with numerous reports of disenfranchisement within the most popular game in the genre, and high profile streamers such as Dyrus hopping onto the Overwatch bandwagon. If the worlds largest and most successful MOBA is starting to show cracks and leak members, how long can the smaller ones dwarfed by this giant hope to last? 

What do you think? Do you think this is shows the beginning of a downward spiral for MOBAs or do you think that they'll be able to reign supreme regardless? If you've stopped playing, then why? Leave us a comment at the bottom. 


22 Year old Student. Have been playing games since I was a child. I love MMO's, Character Action games and anything with a thumping sound track and the difficulty of running up a brick wall. I have an unnatural hatred for anyone thats already caught a Venesaur.

Published Jul. 19th 2016

Cached - article_comments_article_42734