Ubisoft is making a 100-player autobattler

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(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Two of the biggest things to happen in the videogame industry over the last couple of years are battle royale (opens in new tab) and Auto Chess, known more generically as "autobattlers (opens in new tab)." If you've ever wondered what might happen if someone were to mash them together in some sort of "autobattler royale," January 30 will be your lucky day, because that's when Ubisoft will officially launch Might and Magic: Chess Royale, the first 100 player autobattler.

Heroes and units in Chess Royale, with unique abilities and factions, are drawn from throughout the Might and Magic universe, and can be upgraded and combined to create "unique synergies" to support different types of strategies. Between battles, players will spend gold to recruit characters and can take advantage of a "scouting phase" that will enable them to analyze popular team compositions and come up with counters.

Unfortunately, the Chess Royale announcement (opens in new tab) really doesn't say much more than that about it, nor does it provide a very clear picture of how the game will actually be played. Unfortunately, it won't be a straight-up 100-player free-for-all: Based on a few pre-release gameplay videos on YouTube like this one (opens in new tab) (which is actually taken from the mobile version of the game), players will fight in quick 1v1 matches, slowly winnowing the contenders down until only one remains.

That sounds cumbersome, but despite the unwieldy number of players, brevity is apparently a focal point: Chess Royale is "designed to offer a quicker session experience" than other autobattlers, with match lengths of about ten minutes: "Lose quick, win quick," Ubisoft said.

Might and Magic: Chess Royale will be free to play, and is set to go live on January 30.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.