For Honor is out today, and if you’re just resurfacing from your rock, the game features third person medieval combat with a variety of game modes. With every game that has a slight competitive edge, we have to ask ourselves, is For Honor going to make it as an esport? Before we answer that question (or attempt to) we have to decide if the game was designed to be one, or are Ubisoft just interested in some mindless, brawling, fun.
It’s hard to think that games these days which posses any ounce of competitiveness aren’t at least trying to crack into the lucrative industry. For Honor has promise, and it seems the game’s director, Roman Campos Oriola, had considered it when talking to We Write Things. He concluded that it’s up to the community to decide whether it’s an esport or not. This is a fair conclusion, but there’s nothing stopping a developer from pushing for a more competitive outcome with their game. Take Overwatch for example, Blizzard have pushed it as an esport since launch and it has taken off.
The next big foreseeable issue is finding a home for For Honor. Some gamers feel the fighting community might take kindly to the new game, while others feel it’s better suited amongst the fps players. One Reddit post in particular mentioned how Smash Melee players might enjoy the pace and movement, but conventional fighting game players such as SFV and MKX might not take to it as quickly. While the community are deciding whether it’s an esport, they’re apparently also decided what sort of genre it belongs to as the developers aren’t even sure.
“”I think our game has more in common with shooters than it does with most genres,” Jason Vandenberhe told Red Bull. “It has that kind of immersive intensity to it, but with the intimate duelling feature of melee weapons. We feel like we’re out in a new space and we’ve heard that a lot from the press, which has been nice.
“I was a big fan of Chivalry, I played that, it was a lot of fun, but I feel like what we’re doing doesn’t have a strong analogue. We’re really curious. For me the big question is who is going to play. We want to get the game out and find out who our players are. I think that it’s going to be–my theory is, it’s going to be a lot of different kinds of people. We have a lot of shooter players who are interested. We have a lot of sports players who are really interested, a lot of Madden and NHLpeople, a lot of those people are really interested.”
It’s true, For Honor is in a new space and I feel there’s opportunity here for them to grow. Ubisoft need to understand, however, that the community may decide – but it’s up to them to make it can survive as an esport.