Ubisoft is working on a new title called Might and Magic: Chess Royale that…ambitiously tries to combine two of PC gaming’s hottest genres.
Might and Magic: Chess Royale combines the auto-battler genre (which we became quite addicted to last year), the battle royale genre (as best represented by games like PUBG and Fortnite), and the Might and Magic series. The basic idea is that you’re going to do what you do with other auto-battler games out there. That is to say that you’ll draft a roster of heroes and utilize their unique abilities and team comp benefits to beat other teams of heroes. So far as that goes, it doesn’t look like this title is trying to break the genre mold in any noticeable way.
However, the big twist here is that this game will see you compete against 99 other players. That’s a significant departure from most auto-battler genre titles which typically caps the match size at about 8-12 and sees them compete in a mini-tournament format. As you almost certainly figured out, that expanded player count is where Chess Royale seems to be drawing the “Royale” part of its name. After all, every other auto-battler uses a “last player standing” win system in the first place.
How will the game handle that many players? That’s a fascinating question. In fact, we really don’t know many details about this game at all aside from what was revealed in a press release and some brief gameplay videos. What really caught our attention amongst everything that’s been released thus far is the promise that Chess Royale will offer a quicker gameplay experience than the average auto-battler title. It’s not clear at this time how the game will expand the player count of the genre while offering quicker games.
At this time, there are some who are concerned that this project is just the result of Ubisoft is just trying to combine two of the bigger buzzwords in gaming. That’s certainly a valid concern, but honestly, Ubisoft isn’t nearly as bad as the EAs of the world as far as those things go, and an auto-battler with a larger player count is really still just an auto-battler. As long as the gameplay and balance are solid, this could actually work.
We’ll know for sure when Might and Magic: Chess Royale is released as a free-to-play game for PC and mobile devices on January 30.
Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.