MLBB growing, other mobile MOBAs not

The entire (short) article is worth reading, but here’s the key quote for VG fans:

Vainglory from Super Evil Megacorp, the No. 3 grossing title in the genre among U.S. players last quarter, saw its revenue decline 62 percent Y/Y to an estimated $420,000 after reaching $1.1 million during the first quarter of 2018.

Pretty much gives the lie to all that “VG’s not dying” blather on Reddit … It is, at least in the US … :anguished:


I cannot fathom why ML has such a high number of players while the game itself is a mess…while VG that is better gameplay wise…is in the bottom…

I feel like it’s due to ML’s much higher amounts of advertising. Even if their ads are really cringey, they at least get word of the game out…

ML is actually a lot of fun — much more fun than VG these days, and queue times are much shorter than AoV. (ML queue time was less than a minute every time I played.)

If you haven’t played it for a while, it’s worth taking another look. (Which is what I did this past weekend.)

1 Like

I also heard their out of game experience is way better. They also have Legends in their name, so that probably helps them a bit. I still think VG deserves way more players, but SEMC needs to seriously try to build it up again. I feel like 4.4 will possibly be their last chance due to the recent 2 small patches. It’s also as the end of the season, so it’s possible big changes are coming. Just me being at least a bit optimistic tho.

I can guarantee that in EU it’s also rapidly declining. As regular player, there is no way one to miss that and we can pinpoint few key moments - 2.8 player base (really really big and healthy and got enough players to support both 3vs3 and 5vs5 in ideal world. Won’t start another discussion here why that player base was not kept as it’s complex and time consuming).

Actually around December 2017 it’s also another timestamp as already some stop playing after the 5vs5 preparation changes that somewhat ruined the fun in 3vs3. After that is start of 2018 and the rapid declining since… even at start of 2018 A LOT quit, then every day less and less players played the game, summer 2018 already got a lot quit and nowdays it’s super slim part of what VG player base was before.

ML is having a lot bigger player base even vs AOV in EU/US. I would strongly recommend it over AOV actually just because of that. In AOV sometimes I can wait 2m for game found, in ML the MAX time I waited was 5 seconds… the difference is absurd and clearly shows the difference in player base (added to other sources as matchmaking algorithm can be differently tuned).

Also tbh I should check on that AOV is really a rip off ML. ML is the first game and AOV is literally UI/ingame UI 1:1 ripoff (looks, interface, gameplay). Graphics are also not far ahead of ML, actually they are on par mostly and ML heroes moves smoother + ML improves a lot constantly (so is AOV, btw) and revamp heroes as skills and on top of that remade effects to look better and models too.

  1. Pretty much any device can play it smoothly
  2. Less latency issues, playable even with bad wifi in my experience
  3. Relatively fast updates
  4. VERY fast queues
  5. Playable in many orientations
  6. Ranking actually has a progression system with impactful rewards

Honestly, it’s a really fun game; and if VG offered a similar out-of-game experience, I doubt they’d be seeing a 62% drop in revenue.


This, even if it’s not that deep and complicated… it’s… well, fun to play + you got a lot of fun modes that are really different from each. Also a lot free stuff is given for regular players so you can unlock stuff and feel progression + depth ingame/endgame stats + social features + XXX. If one can get used with joystick and want fun on the go/on the couch - ML is strongly recommended and right after it AOV is worth checking out too. I would say ML as heroes are smoother + feels better to me and the player base is super massive in EU/US.

Edit: also it got the domino effect - more money, devs receive more and are praised = work more enthusiastically and hard, company invest more into the game and this leads to rapid improvements and in all fronts, etc… while the struggling companies starts to limit what is released more and more, employers are fired and the general mood is bad, etc. Successful games got more successful, struggling games sooner or later are dropped.

I’ll likely play VG until it dies before, and if, i switch over to another mobile MOBA. While SEMC certainly has made a mess of their UI and as a company has made numerous questionable (I’m being polite) decisions regarding marketing and flip-flopping on their vision, they made the best mobile MOBA regarding graphics and gameplay.

That’s ultimately what I personally want, and why I keep playing.

We all love the game, but tbh a lot of the out of game experience, the bugs, the toxicity that is over the roof, the que times, the dodges, the declines… all of that is too much to compensate for the gameplay or visuals. I would also be honest saying that I loved a lot more VG 3vs3 (ofc 2.8 patch and those prior it, no 2.9 with HP changes and so on) than VG 5vs5, tho I like 5vs5 too… but the negatives starts to pile up while other games like AOV and ML improves rapidly. Check out the article, it’s quite absurd how much better AOV is doing (check out the total profit, I assure you that VG is not even 1/20 that profitable in Asia, there AOV is huge) and then ML… it’s really no comparison there as they are a lot a lot more profitable than AOV.

That money flow leads to rapid and really fast improvements all over the game. Even the graphics maxed out are far from that inferior to VG in contrast to before. While you know how VG development is going and we all can’t argue with SEMC post themself that the game is entering maintenance mode.


I have to correct u on this. AOV is not ripoff ML, it’s the opposite because ML is ripoff KOG(AOV in China)

Moonton shareholders and devs are original from Tencent and Gameloft ShangHai, KOG ML both using the same strategy - copy everything from LoL then change it slowly after got enough attention and sued/complained by Riot Games


I second this. Tbh if you really want to get extra, AoV is just a reskin of KoG. :ghost:

This is the main menu screen of KOG when released (ML follows shortly after). Tho I won’t argue as I didn’t put too much time to research the topic.

It’s shocking to me that mobile legends in doing better than Arena of Valor. AOV is so much more polished and has far better gameplay imo. Mobile feels insanely cheap compared to AOV, and considering they both (try to provide) very similar experiences I simply don’t understand ML popularity.

Did you play ML recently? If so, why you think it’s that much more inferior to AOV? And why the gameplay is so much worse and “cheap”?

1 Like

I will be honest, I have not played the game in a couple months, but I found the game to feel really cheap in it’s overall design. AOV actually looks and plays pretty well, has smooth and fairly detailed animations, and decent ish hero designs. MLBB feels like everything was done with the lowest possible effort.

As far as gameplay, it feels super snowbally to me, getting 2-3 early kills in lane can lead to just dominating the game. There also does not seem to be much thought into balancing besides selling the newest characters, and the amount of burst and crowd control is insane. AOV suffers from these issues somewhat, but it just feels like they actually had designers on the team who know what a good MOBA is and the things that makes it work.

To me it’s the difference between copying something because it’s popular, and knowing what elements of that popular thing make it so popular in the first place. AOV also does not looks like the ugliest Chinese clone in history.

1 Like

Well, people should go check AOV’s subreddit. While we’re here discussing VG’s decline, the AOV subreddit is just as paranoid when rumors leak out that Tencent is apparently planning to scrap AOV in favor of both KOG and the unknown LoL mobile they’re working on.

Of course, Tencent released an official announcement that it is not true, but there are still doubts and suspicions on the AOV subreddit, particularly with their India server which has not been updated since December and also the recent fall of the MY/PH server iirc, which merged with the Indonesian server and trust me, the players from both regions (Malaysia and Philippines) are not happy with the fall of their server.

At least that’s what I can get from their subreddit, feel free to correct me if I’m getting facts wrong. Personally, I think the whole interest in mobile MOBA is in decline with mobile gaming consumers. I don’t know if I’m correct, but I recall that I hardly saw any ads for ML throughout 2017-2018 which probably signifies that ML still has a good playerbase (?), but then I saw a surge in ads for ML throughout late 2018 to early 2019, which is probably Moonton’s response to a declining playerbase (?), not to mention the ad looked like there was no effort put in there, ugh.

I know that ads don’t speak about a game’s playerbase, but that is just my opinion on the matter.

1 Like

Check any game’s subreddit. Every game has it’s share of concerned players. This is a point i made in a previous post. It’s an important reminder to us here in a VG- oriented site - the world is not falling apart.

VG is not as strong as it once was, sure, but that doesn’t automatically implicate it’s dieing nor that it’s dead.

Blitz matches never take more than 30 seconds or so to find. ARAL is almost always under a minute. Casual 5v5 rarely goes above a 2 minute wait. Typically under a minute for me. Event modes are found pretty fast. It’s just ranked that takes a bit (even so, I’ve had plenty of ranked 5v5 take less than a minute… Ranked 3v3 is the big culprit.)

My overall point before ranting even longer that I’d like to make is that while MLBB, AoV and VG are all MOBA, VG is quite different in that it’s a more pure, meticulously paced MOBA. Games take 20-35 minutes. This means to find a ranked match, you’re waiting for other players willing to spend that amount of time (plus draft) to play a game. IMO, I like that. That’s MOBA for me.

It’s hard to make MOBA work on mobile. Mobile gamers like quick fixes for the most part. I’m not surprised MLBB and AoV are more popular. They cater to that crowd with 10-15 minute games. It doesn’t mean the game itself is better. They have nicer bells and whistles, but I stand firm that VG is a better MOBA for “purists” or old timers like myself. Far better, IMO.

I don’t play MLBB purely out of principle, because Moonton is a really, really shady company. Has everyone forgotten about/not seen this?

Also I find the UI awful (much like PUBG mobile and AoV) and even the current iteration of VG’s is far better. At least imo. Also joystick.


My last play on ML is i think on the month of April(when we still have classes) i only play ML with my friends…

ML is pretty fun but unless your not queuing on a party its pretty much the same as VG but worst atleast in my experience…

I can’t really stand ML tbh, i like some characters, but most of them is a blatantly copied and i can’t stand the UI its pretty cluttered… And yea cringey ads… and other stuff heck even their music sounds like KDA’s and its pretty much annoying me… also that’s why im excited to see LoL mobile so i can see ML crash down :upside_down_face: :haha: