With the likes of Valve and Riot Games getting in on the action, the Auto Chess trend is flourishing on PC, but not so on consoles. Perhaps not until an unspecified date in 2020, that is, with developer Dragonest confirming at a fan event in Tokyo that Auto Chess would reach PS4 and Nintendo Switch next year.
The “auto-battler” genre was born in early 2019 as a result of a wildly popular DOTA 2 mod, with large publishers then looking to lay their claim to a piece of the pie in a similar fashion to what happened with the battle royale craze. With its origins as a MOBA spin-off (think SMITE or Dark Eclipse), the successful transition of that particular tactical multiplayer genre seemingly makes a console version of Auto Chess a worthwhile venture.
Perhaps the move will also help Dragonest to win back some favor with players, as their announcement that the game would be exclusive to the Epic Game Store on PC during E3 2019 was largely met with negativity. Regardless, it’s undoubtedly a good thing that more players on more platforms will get to experience this emerging gaming trend in 2020.
While it doesn’t play anything like conventional chess—seeing players instead choose their own units to take into battle against seven other players in a last man standing scenario—it is arguably just as tactical. This has led to the game taking off as an esport and enjoying major success in that sector across both its existing smartphone and PC versions.
There are plans to expand on those aforementioned versions, and presumably, those features will also be present in the console versions at launch. These include a four-versus-four team battle mode, the ability to establish tournaments for large groups of players, and a match replay feature to allow for the study of an opponent’s strategies or where you might’ve made a wrong move.
If all that sounds intriguing, be sure to keep an eye on PlayStation LifeStyle for more details on next year’s Auto Chess PS4 port as they emerge.