Steven R. April 13, 2019
Dota Auto Chess has taken the world by storm as a user-made game mode in Dota 2, but fans are getting a small taste of its upcoming standalone mobile release.
Auto Chess developer Drodo Studio has been rolling out concept art for the characters in the mobile port of the game on Twitter. The new pieces let players see the title’s general art style, but also let fans know that the game they have come to love is being faithfully recreated.
Because the Auto Chess port is being made without Valve, copyright restrictions prevent the inclusion of Dota 2 characters. Drodo Studio is getting around this by making a unique set of pieces that vaguely resemble their originals, but look much cuter in design. The art for about half of the game's pieces has been released with up to eight being shown off each day.
An important note from this art is that the classifications for each piece remain the same. The Chinese characters under each character list their respective race and class, with each one coinciding with the Dota Auto Chess original. This means that fans can likely expect the mobile version of Auto Chess to play almost identically to the original.
Since launching in January, Dota Auto Chess has reinvigorated Dota 2 in a big way. Though user-made game modes have historically been ignored and neglected in Dota 2, Auto Chess has become an overwhelming success with an established player base of over 7 million. Auto Chess has been the key factor in Dota 2’s recent return to the top of Steam’s concurrent player totals after long lagging behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and hosts a significant percentage of the game’s player base during the day.
The explosion of popularity surrounding Auto Chess resulted in rumors of Valve looking to work with Drodo Studio to create a standalone version of the game in February. A few weeks later, news broke that the company had instead partnered with a Chinese game developer to create a mobile game that would include a glitzy competitive scene.
No timetable has been announced for the mobile version of the game, but preregistration has already attracted hundreds of thousands. Given how many character designs have already been publicized, it may be safe to assume Auto Chess Mobile could be launching in the coming months.