You could be forgiven for missing it, but Crytek are no longer just the Frankfurt studio who name all their games after themselves. These days, they’re nine studios in as many countries.
One of them’s in Sofia, building a MOBA. It’s called Arena of Fate, which is a nondescript name for something much more characterful: a five-versus-five game of fairytale fisticuffs in which Frankenstein can finally give Jack the Ripper the twatting he deserved.
Arena of Fate will build on Crytek’s experience with Warface - the military FPS which purported to make an ongoing service of an annualised genre and did a pretty good job of it.
The idea, in a nutshell, is to turn the calling cards of fairytale and semi-fictionalised figures into compelling ultimates: Mr Ripper makes good use of his cleavers; Baron Münchhausen can ride his cannonball across the map; Frankenstein won’t necessarily stay dead; and so on.
“Imagine Joan of Arc and Robin Hood cooperating to hunt down Little Red Riding Hood,” said Crytek Black Sea managing director Vesselin Handjiev. “Wouldn’t that be terrific?
“But besides the game's iconic heroes, which everyone in the team really loves, we are also challenging ourselves to carefully craft a streamlined player experience that allows for both greater accessibility, and rich, deep, action-packed gameplay,” he added.
“We are very excited to meet the first wave of players in the arena this summer, and will be listening carefully to the feedback we receive and making the community's contribution a key part of our efforts to perfect the fun.”
Closed beta sign-up is already an option - Arena of Fate is complete enough to be shown at E3, and will enter public testing before the end of the summer.
Black Sea have spent the last decade working in and around the RTS genre in Knights of Honor and WorldShift, which makes them someway qualified to make MOBAs. A good deal more qualified than Valve - and that turned out pretty well, didn’t it?