Mo’ MOBAs: Bandai Namco Announce Supernova


At some point in every publisher’s offices across the globe over the past five years, an executive has asked “What is a MOBA and why don’t we have one?”

Namco Bandai evidently had that discussion later than many, as they’ve only now tossed their hat into the free-to-play MOBA arena. Yesterday they announced Supernova [official site], a F2P sci-fi MOBA with a twist (got to have a twist!). See, in Supernova, folks can upgrade and customise their creeps – those weak, AI-controlled units forever charging towards the enemy base. A twist!

Having coined the term Minecraftbut for “It’s like Minecraft but…” games, I’d now like to suggest LoLbut for games which are “Like League of Legends but…” (Though LoL was based on DotA, I’d say the current MOBA rush is specifically chasing after LoL. Even more specifically, they’re chasing LoL’s enormous install-base and audience numbers.)

Anyway! Supernova has robots and it has aliens. They fight each other. The main distinguishing feature is those customisable creeps, which have tech trees and whatnot to shape them, and a rock, paper, scissors-ish balancing of infantry, armour, and air. It’s being made by new outfit Primal Game Studio, and due to launch later this year. Closed alpha testing has already started, you can sign up over here.

The folks at RPS fansite PC Gamer have played Supernova but I don’t know if I trust their MOBA opinions after we trounced them in a recent ‘friendly’ Dota 2 match. It’s hard to tell, isn’t it, when you’re playing along and enjoying a friendly rivalry and when you’ve gone too far and are being an arse. [Pip: I’d say that point was Dagon 5 on Puck against neophytes, Alice…]

What was the last big fad? I can’t even remember anymore. Modern-day millitary FPSs, was it?


  1. mechtroid says:

    MMOs. Remember when everybody and their dog were coming out with new MMOs?

  2. Lars Westergren says:

    > “What is a MOBA and why don’t we have one?”

    “We have money to burn and I’ve heard lots of good things about that ‘red ocean’ strategy. Lets make something happen people!”

    > I’d say that point was Dagon 5 on Puck against neophytes, Alice…

    A mix of adorable and horrifying. Like a rugby match against 7 year olds.

  3. Ansob says:

    And to think they could have released a Gundam MOBA instead. :(

    • mattevansc3 says:

      Or better yet a SRW themed MOBA with no licensed characters that is designed purely for western audiences and then have it be in Japanese.

    • emotionengine says:

      Or a Dark Souls MOBA. Or a Tekken X Street Fighter MOBA. Or a Ridge Racer vs. Ace Combat MOBA. The possibilities are endless. . .

  4. Pantalaimon says:

    There’s still plenty of room in the genre. We’ve only had a couple of decent games and they all have their issues.

  5. tnankie says:

    The gas powered games MOBA….Demigod had upgrade-able creeps and bases…..just sayin’.

    • Lord Byte says:

      Indeed, that one wasn’t half-bad, but lacked a follow-through from the developers. Could’ve been a contender…

  6. bill says:

    If we continue on this path won’t we soon be able to issue commands to the creeps? And then we basically evolve into an RTS?

  7. Maleficence says:

    Is it just me or is this, visually, very messy? The thing that makes LOL and DOTA 2 in particular work very well is that you tend to know what’s going on despite there being a lot on screen. I think this looks too messy.

  8. Bugamn says:

    Look, I have read the story, but can I forget and just look at the pics and pretend it’s a new RTS or Action game? Pretty please? I think the last RTS that grabbed me was Dawn of War.