Arena of Valor
Arena of Valor (Chinese: 傳說對決; pinyin: Chuánshuō Duìjué), formerly Strike of Kings, is an international adaptation of Honor of Kings (Chinese: 王者荣耀; pinyin: Wángzhě Róngyào), a multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) developed by TiMi Studios. It is developed for Android, iOS, and Nintendo Switch for markets outside China. As of September 2018, the game has grossed over $140 millionoutside China. Arena of Valor was one of six Esports video games featured at the 2018 Asian Games, 2019 Southeast Asian Games, and 2021 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games as part of the demonstration sport.
Description[edit | edit source]
A 5v5 MOBA Anywhere Anytime.
Experience Arena of Valor, an epic new 5v5 multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) developed by TiMi Studios and published by Tencent Games!
Call on your teammates to join you in the jungle! Crush your enemies in classic 5v5 combat in real time! Draw first blood, carry your team, and become legendary in the arena!
DC LOGO, BATMAN, WONDERWOMAN, SUPERMAN, THE JOKER: TM & © DC.
- Classic 5v5 MOBA, Perfected for Mobile -
Traverse a classic three-lane arena filled with nooks and crannies between towers. Watch out for enemies lurking in the brush and uncover secrets that wait in the jungle. Intuitive controls specifically designed for mobile will have you racking up kills with ease and make you an MVP in no time!
- Growing Number of Legendary Heroes -
Explore and command a roster of over 100 fearless heroes and counting, including a variety of Tanks, Assassins, Mages, Support, Warriors, and Marksmen. Build the perfect team to crush your opponents in battle!
- The Ultimate MOBA Experience -
First Blood, Double Kill, Triple Kill… all the features that you know and love right at your fingertips. Discover and dominate all the gameplay modes, including 5v5, 3v3, 1v1, and a unique “Hook Wars” mode that will challenge your skills and make you a true champion!
- Fast Matchmaking & 10-Minute Matches -
Team up with players all around the world in an instant. Carve your way through jungles, lanes, and towers, draw first blood and destroy the enemy Core. Carry your team to victory in less than 10 minutes!
- Join Your Friends in Fierce Team Battles -
Enjoy fast-paced combat and forge alliances with players around the world. Interact with friends and guild buddies every day using real-time voice chat. Share the load, work together, and fight strategically. Team up with your friends in Tourney Mode and soon you’ll be able to create your own league. Arena of Valor is the new eSport for your mobile devices.
- Got What It Takes? Free to Play Forever -
In Arena of Valor, it’s all about skill. We strive to create the most riveting and balanced gameplay, so you can turn the tide of battle and vie for glory no matter the odds. Win or lose, every action counts!
Development and history[edit | edit source]
Arena of Valor (formerly Strike of Kings) is an international adaptation of Honor of Kings for markets outside mainland China. After Tencent fully acquired Riot Games in 2015, Tencent asked them to make a mobile version of League of Legends, as multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games were very rare on mobile at the time. However, Riot Games declined and claimed that the gameplay of League of Legends could not be replicated on smartphones. Tencent then proceeded to create their own mobile MOBA game, Wangzhe Rongyao, roughly translated to English as Honor of Kings, which was released on November 26, 2015. Nevertheless, several Riot Games employees deemed that the design of characters and abilities in Honor of Kings were "blatantly ripping off the intellectual property of League of Legends", and reportedly brought these concerns to Tencent. Tencent responded that they would change its own game enough to sell as a standalone product with no relation to League of Legends. Despite this, Honor of Kings had already gained massive popularity in China at this point. Tencent felt that it was too late to make huge changes to the game, so they decided that Honor of Kings will only go through necessary changes, while the international release of the game outside mainland China will be the one that features different content, hence leading to the creation of Arena of Valor.
Arena of Valor originally was named Strike of Kings, and was intended to be identical twin of Honor of Kings, but Tencent later decided the name might not be suitable to a Western audience. Moreover, the difference of contents featured in the game made Tencent decided that a better name is required. Still, Arena of Valor have several alternative names when released on different countries, such as Realm of Valor in Thailand, Liên Quân in Vietnam, Penta Storm in South Korea, and Legendary Showdown in Taiwan and Japan.
Arena of Valor is developed by TiMi Studios with the same engine and user interface design as Honor of Kings and published by Tencent Games for the western market. Garena joined the marketing team as they helped to westernize the atmosphere of the game. The in-game characters have been swapped from characters inspired by Chinese folklore and Chinese mythology, to characters inspired by European folklore and several mythologies from other nations, with blending a variety of elements including Lovecraftian horror, steampunk, high fantasy, and sword and sorcery to appeal audiences outside mainland China. The appearance of in-game characters mostly recycled and revamped designs of characters from Heroes of Newerth, a MOBA game that Garena had acquired from S2 Games. Arena of Valor also included several characters such as Butterfly, Violet, and Mina from Age of Gunslingers, a third-person shooter game that previously was also developed by TiMi Studios. Additionally, Arena of Valor has multiple collaborations with other franchises, having crossovers with DC Universe, Wiro Sableng, Contra, KFC, Sword Art Online, and Ultraman.
Tencent intended to feature characters from Marvel Universe during the prototype stage of Strike of Kings (before renamed to Arena of Valor and collaborated with DC Comics), with the closed beta test of the game under the name of Marvel Super Heroes. The initial game featured some characters from Tencent's intellectual property crossover with Marvel's characters. However, Marvel Entertainment later took back their license, forcing Tencent to shut down the game as they lost the rights to release the game. Subsequently, TiMi Studios had to redesign the game, creating the current appearance of Arena of Valor. Tencent then approached DC Comics to include their characters as a replacement to Marvel's characters, while Marvel went a separate way, collaborated with other video game developer companies to develop their own MOBA, such as Marvel End Time Arena by Smilegate, and Marvel Super War by NetEase.
The soundtrack for Arena of Valor was composed by different music composers each year, such as Jeff Broadbent in late 2016, Hans Zimmer and Lorne Balfe in 2017, Matthew Carl Earl and Obadiah Brown-Beach in 2018, Russell Brower, Paul Lipson, and Tom Salta in 2019, Yang Lee and Michal Cielecki in 2020, all creating a different atmosphere compared to the original score with Chinese music instruments in Honor of Kings. Arena of Valor also features The Veda language, a constructed fictional language along with its polypersonal, including Afata (eponimous language), Gandal (impure language), and G'vunna (Zudǝllǝ g’Vunnǝ, "language from the abyss") for different characters from differrent factions. These languages were created by David J. Peterson (who is also well-known for created Dothraki and Valyrian languages in Game of Thrones) to make the game more interesting.
Arena of Valor has a wide variety of publishers for different regions. Arena of Valor was first launched in Taiwan on October 12, 2016 by Garena, following a two-week closed beta testing period. On October 17, 2017, Garena launched Arena of Valor in Malaysia, Singapore, and Philippines, where a majority of the gaming community plays mobile games. Garena decided to combine these three countries in one server. In South Korea, the game was published by Netmarble on April 26, 2017. The game was released in European markets by Tencent on August 10, 2017, and was released in North America and Latin America on December 19, 2017. On June 28, 2018, Tencent implemented "Asia server" unannounced. This server included Australia, New Zealand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and Brunei. In Japan, DeNA cooperated with Tencent to launch Arena of Valor on November 30, 2018.
Nintendo announced a deal with Tencent to bring Arena of Valor to the Nintendo Switch for international markets, as well as forming partnership to ships Nintendo Switch console into China. The game was announced to be released for the Nintendo Switch during the September 2017 Nintendo Direct presentation. A closed beta became available for the platform on June 28, 2018, and participants received an in-game skin for one of the characters. The game is confirmed to launch on the platform on September 25, 2018. Speaking to Engadget, Tencent revealed the Nintendo Switch port of the game is enhanced and optimized for the platform, taking advantage of the console's processing power and hardware features to implement various changes to the game, such as improved graphics and animations, better lighting, smoother lines, and additional minute details like butterflies. Additionally, several adjustments were made to the game to be playable on a bigger screen with traditional controls, and stats for characters have been reconfigured. Because of these changes, cross-play between the Nintendo Switch and mobile versions of the game is not possible.
Both Arena of Valor and Honor of Kings were gradually reported to have caused a straining business relationship between Riot Games and Tencent, and the relationship between the two firms became further strained when Tencent used notable League of Legends players to promote Arena of Valor and its esports tournaments. Nonetheless, Riot Games implied that their relationship with Tencent is still strong, and the conflict between them and their games is only "a bump in the road". In July 2017, Riot Games filed a lawsuit against Moonton, the developer of the rival game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, for copyright infringement, citing similarities between Mobile Legends and League of Legends. The case was initially dismissed in Central District Court of California in United States on account of forum non conveniens. Tencent, as Riot's parent company, then filed a new, separate lawsuit on behalf of Riot Games, directly targeting Moonton's CEO, Watson Xu Zhenhua (as he had previously worked in Tencent as one of Tencent's senior employee) in Shanghai No.1 Intermediate People's Court, for violating a law regarding Non-Compete Agreements, which ruled in Tencent's favor in July 2018, awarding Tencent a settlement of $2.9 million (RMB19.4 million).
Riot Games eventually acknowledged the potential of the mobile market for the MOBA genre, and agreed to develop a mobile title for League of Legends. Tencent then temporarily pulled marketing plans for Arena of Valor in Europe and North America in 2019, clearing room for Riot Games's announcement a few months later. Riot Games announced their own mobile MOBA game, League of Legends: Wild Rift on October 16, 2019, which is the 10th anniversary of League of Legends. This would result a friendly rivalry competition between Riot Games and Tencent Games, as the latter is backing both Arena of Valor and League of Legends along with Honor of Kings, and will help to publish League of Legends: Wild Rift in China on behalf of Riot Games. In addition to that, the succession of MOBA genre on mobile inspired the creation of Pokémon Unite, a Pokémon spin-off game, developed by TiMi Studio as well in a partnership with The Pokémon Company.
Collaborations[edit | edit source]
- Arena of Valor × Razer
- Arena of Valor × DC
- Arena dd Valor × Contra:Return
- Arena of Valor × Wiro Sableng
- Arena of Valor × KFC
- Arena of Valor × Poco F2 Pro
- Arena of Valor × Sword Art Online
- Arena of Valor × Ultraman
- Arena of Valor × Sword Art Online: Alicization War of Underworld