I can’t imagine how League of Legends is growing. I tried to get back into it last week after a two year absence, and holy CRAP is it pointlessly obtuse and hard to get into now. It used to be the casual, easy to get into MOBA. Now it’s much harder to learn than even DOTA 2. They’ve introduced a ton of new items, heroes, and hero reworks chasing a “complexity for complexity’s sake” theme.
“Grant (0)10 Attack damage or (0)25 AP or 10 adaptive damage, with a +(0)1% bonus based off of the missing health of the target starting at 50% growing up to 20% at 0%. Upon activation, slow the target by 40%, gradually regaining it over the duration. Any enemy ally who crossed the target’s path becomes marked. Any allied unit traveling towards a marked target gains +25 movespeed and a +25-75 (based on level) health regeneration. Upon ending, Brittle is applied to all marked targets and all allies gain 200% of total health healed to be applied as adaptive damage over 10 seconds.”
^the above really isn’t much of an exaggeration to how most new items and abilities are handled now.
And that’s not even mentioning the new rune system that makes strategizing impossible because it has a significant impact and you don’t know what your opponent is packing. It feels like having 30 new summoner spells that are hidden.
So in addition to the genre as a whole dying down, I can’t imagine that LoL of all games is picking up new players. I’ve been playing the genre for over 2000 hours over 9 years. If it’s too complex for me to get into, I can’t imagine how a newbie would. It’s completely geared towards hanging onto longtime, entrenched players now. (funny how it switched roles with DOTA 2 in the casual/complex areas)
Yeah I think the Battle Royale genre ate into MOBAs. Overwatch was already doing that. The genre has already been moving away from the RPG elements (getting rid of last hitting, and eventually gold and items altogether). The main frustration of the genre (and even Overwatch) is having just one bad player on your team ruins the whole experience (MOBAs moreso than Overwatch, and Heroes of the Storm moreso than other MOBAs). People were sick of it and the Battle Royale genre offered them a break by returning to solo deathmatch roots where you didn’t have to rely on anyone else.
I can’t imagine Battle Royale remaining popular though. It’s just too long and slow, where all your progress is instantly undone by an unseen sniper. It’s going to have to be streamlined and shortened to stay around. Hell, Player Unknown seemed like an unstoppable juggernaut just 8 months ago. Now it’s been completely buried by Fortnite. That’s insane turnover.