Valve has released a new game today, and it's already absorbing a lot of steam.
Dota Underlords, Valve's newest game, entered the Open Beta on PC and mobile at 1
At 2:00 pm, Dota Underlords reached a simultaneous 62,946, while the all-time high of Artifact stopped at 60,740. Of course, the big caveat here is that Dota Underlords is completely free while Artifact costs $ 20. It was also open beta only for selected players and those who owned the Dota 2 Battle Pass, but the floodgates are now officially open.
But it's still hard to deny the rampant enthusiasm for denying the newly formed "Auto Chess" genre of games, which has recently emerged from a Dota 2 mod of the same name.
Since the creation of this mod, a stand-alone game by the original mod team titled "Auto Chess" has been released (and it comes) Dota Underlords was announced and released by Valve, and Riot Games has a League of Legends Equivalent called Team Fight Tactics released, all three have been published in the last few months.
Auto Chess games are essentially deck-building tactical games in which players buy and upgrade units, place them on a grid, and then automatically have them fight in rounds against other players until only one person remains. All characters are available to all players, with microtransactions generally taking the form of martial arts passports.
While Valve's Dota card game, Artifact, was positively received at the start, its player base dwindled rapidly. Valve finally admitted that the game had "deep-rooted problems" and pledged to fix them to make Artifact.
In the meantime, another team began working on Dota Underlords, and that was clearly to their advantage. Although the number of players seems to have increased that day, it is likely to continue to increase next weekend despite all the competition.
Tell Us What You Believe in the Auto Chess Genre
Tom Marks is a deputy editor for reviews at IGN and based cake maker. You can follow him on Twitter .