Lately Zynga has just announced its newest game title, Solstice Arena, a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game for mobile devices. The game is being developed by the A Bit Lucky team that has joined Zynga several months ago. Solstice Arena will focus on hero combat, with 3v3 matches that take place in maps that encourage strategic thinking. The game will also include the persistent character progression commonplace in the genre and will monetize by allowing players to purchase aesthetic character customization options.

“Our main goal with Solstice Arena was, and is, to take gameplay we love from a genre we love and transform it in such a way that allowed anyone — hardcore fans and casual players — to experience the thrill of MOBA gaming right from their mobile devices. To some, we hope they'll see a high-fidelity, well-balanced MOBA. To many, we want Solstice Arena to simply be an awesome fighting game with great graphics. It's challenging to design a game with both of these player groups in mind, but we don't think bringing the genre from PC to mobile has to mean compromising a deep player experience. To achieve this, we've made some deliberate design choices that we believe preserve the core of a MOBA while tailoring it for mobile platforms.” the team said on its official blog.

Matches in Solstice Arena will last about 10 minutes on average. Traditionally, as is the case with the current most popular MOBA game on PC League of Legends, matches can last for an hour or more. In the past few months there are several game developers attempting to make MOBA games appealing to a larger, more casual audience by reducing the time commitment they require. Like Dragons and Titans, a MOBA game with matches lasting 10-15 minutes. Another mobile MOBA game, Arena of Heroes provides matches that will average at about 25 to 45 minutes. And German social game developer and publisher Bigpoint’s modern military-themed MOBA game, Mercs Elite, will have matches that last 20 minutes.

With 70 million registered users, 32 monthly active users and 12 million daily active users, League of Legends is arguably the most popular game in the world. It makes sense that developers in the social and mobile games space will try to copy its free-to-play formula and make it more casual, but it remains to be seen if they will find success. It seems like competition will be fierce, and even with shorter matches, MOBA games are still historically extremely competitive and unwelcoming to new players.