Popular mobile Multiplayer Online Battle Arena Arena of Valor was originally set to make its debut on the Nintendo Switch in North America last month, needless to say the scheduled beta Christmas time beta test never materialized. Outlet Comicbook.com got a chance to sit down wth reps from publisher TenCent and get an update on the upcoming Switch port, plans for North American beta testing and obviously quite a few questions about the licensed D.C Comics heroes.
It seems like TenCent will roll the beta version of Arena of Valor in European territories first with North America to follow sometime after. Just as the mobile version on iOS and Android was launched in European territories first, TenCent will start taking applications for Switch Beta testers very soon – with a later, unspecified date, in mind for North America.
“The Nintendo version of Arena of Valor is being handled by a different team at the moment. We’re supporting the Nintendo version with beta testing, branding, and everything company-side. We have the closed beta testing coming up for Europe, and after we have the results from that beta testing, we’ll have a more clear timetable for launches in different regions.”
Comicbook.com also asked a question that I hadn’t considered – would it be possible for mobile players of Arena of Valor to transfer their gold, talent shards and unlocked heroes to the Nintendo Switch version? TenCent says that this is certainly technically feasible but they do have to consider the imbalance that this would create for new players who are just starting out on Switch. From the sound of things there’s still some deliberation going on about the possibility of porting over account progress from one platform to another.
“We had that discussion earlier, internally. The answer is that the decision is still being made. It is technically possible, but having people on the mobile version and Switch version competing with each other may compromise the arena as a “fair” arena, if you see what I mean. Because they’re using different devices, when they compete with each other we feel it could generate complaints of unfair competition, so we’re still balancing it.”
Lastly, the topic of Monetization has of course came up. Naturally with many calling last year – “the year of the loot box” – it is understandable that potential players might be a little skeptical of a free to play title on Nintendo’s latest platform. From my own personal experience, Arena of Valor is filled with blind boxes (loot boxes) – both in the “free” daily variety and those paid for with real currency.
“We haven’t made a decision about that. Monetization has never been the “start.” It’s not the major concern early on, for any version of the game. We will have more information after the beta test in EU.”
Arena of Valor will launch sometime in 2018 in both North America and Europe. The free to play mobile version is currently available in most countries on both Google Android and Apple’s iOS platforms. I’ve played a couple hours here and there on my phone and found it to be a competent M.O.B.A experience, even if I don’t really recognize or resonate with many of the heroes on offer.