Smite is Bringing MOBAs to Xbox One
Considering that the MOBA genre is among the biggest genres in gaming right now, it was only a matter of time before they left the PC and made their way to console. However, it’s not industry leaders League of Legends or Dota 2 that will make the jump. Hi-Rez Studios announced at Gamescom that Smite would be making the jump to consoles on the Xbox One.
While Smite might be, by Twitch viewership, the number three MOBA right now, the jump makes sense in terms of growth potential. MOBA isn’t a big genre on console and Hi-Rez will get a first-mover advantage by being the first major MOBA to port their game over to console. From a financial perspective, the risk is that gamers new to the genre might balk at the monetization methodology of Smite and MOBAs in general but considering how many people pay for microtransactions in other games in console and mobile, it’s a risk worth taking.
From a technical perspective, Smite is the most logical game to make the jump to console. The third-person perspective and the third-person shooter-esque style of aiming abilities makes it the easiest MOBA to translate to console. In fact, Smite already has Xbox controller compatibility so you can use the Xbox controller to play. Clearly Hi-Rez had this move to console in mind for a while so they probably have an idea of how to map controls to the controller (apart from the obvious left stick to move and right stick to pivot the camera). Hi-Rez was also quick to point out that the Xbox One game will be on its own servers and those will be separate from the PC version of Smite.
From a business perspective, I’m interested to see how the success of MOBAs on PC translates to success in the console sector. If Smite can make waves on console, I’m not sure if anyone will be able to catch them since it will be the first on consoles and have the advantage of not needing a mechanical overhaul or compromise to be played on console. It’ll be fun to see how the potential console popularity of Smite allow it to grow to the size of League or Dota without the same PC marketshare.