MOBAs: Origins and Evolution

MOBAs: Origins and Evolution

5. October 2023 by Valentin Pasetti

The world of video games has witnessed an unprecedented phenomenon with the rise and consolidation of MOBAs (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games). If you’ve ever wondered where this genre originates and what its evolution has been, you’re in the right place.

The Birth of MOBAs

The MOBA phenomenon isn’t as modern as many think. Although it boomed in the 2010s, its origins are rooted in the turn of the millennium. StarCraft and Warcraft III, two titans of the gaming world, marked the start of this fever. Specifically, a map from Warcraft III, named Defense of the Ancients (DotA), based on StarCraft’s Aeon of Strife, laid the groundwork for today’s MOBAs.

Essential MOBA Characteristics

What makes a game a MOBA? These games unfold on a battlefield where two teams compete with the objective of destroying the opponent’s base. Through real-time confrontations, leveling progression systems, and varied strategies, MOBAs combine elements of role-playing and strategy games.

Top MOBAs in History

League of Legends

Undoubtedly, one of the pillars of the MOBA world. Developed by Riot Games, it has established itself as a genre benchmark, offering a wide range of champions and game modes that have captivated millions of players worldwide.

Dota 2

The spiritual heir to DotA, Dota 2 has solidified its position in the community thanks to its profound strategy and variety of heroes.


With a third-person perspective, SMITE immerses us in battles between deities from different mythologies.

Heroes of the Storm

Blizzard enters the MOBA arena by combining characters from their most iconic universes, from Warcraft to Overwatch.

Arena of Valor

An example of adapting the MOBA genre to mobile devices, featuring iconic characters like Batman or Superman.

Pokémon UNITE

A surprising adaptation of the Pokémon universe to the MOBA world, demonstrating the genre’s versatility.

global significance

MOBAs have transcended from being simple games to becoming massive events with world championships and millionaire prizes. They’ve evolved from basic custom maps in strategy games to having standalone titles with millions of players. If you haven’t yet dived into this world, we recommend starting with one of the above-mentioned games. Not only will you face strategic challenges, but you’ll also become part of a global community.