Dota Auto Chess has gone from strength to strength over the past couple of months, attracting the attention of Valve, Tencent, and, at time of writing, more than six million players. Now, it’s taking a significant step towards a new audience.
Developer Drodo Studio is bringing its project to mobile, but in doing so, seems to have dropped Dota from its marketing. A mobile app for Android and iOS is currently available for pre-reservation in China via zizouqi.com, but makes no mention of the game that spawned the extremely popular mod.
The mobile version, which Venturebeat reports is being published in partnership with developer Dragonest, is simply named Auto Chess, theoretically abandoning its attachment to Valve’s MOBA. While Dota and its heroes aren’t present in name, there are some distinct similarities on show via the game’s artwork – I’m pretty sure I can see homages to Axe, Pudge, and Bloodseeker – and the pre-reservation page allows players to link their Steam account to their new accounts to receive rewards.
While the mobile version isn’t even out yet, it’s already looking pretty popular. While it won’t be challenging the Dota Auto Chess player count for a while yet, more than 300,000 players have signed up already.
Sign-ups seem to be limited to China for now, but that page does say you’ll be able to “compete with players from all over the world.” Currently, there’s no word on an official release, or when (or if) the mobile version will make its way to Western audiences.
While the release is limited to mobile for now, it has potentially wider-reaching consequences. Drodo has previously said that it has no plans for a standalone PC release, despite interest from major publishers, but this new project could be an early step in that direction.