The Auto Battler craze was an interesting trend in gaming history. At the start of 2019, a Dota 2 mod called Dota Auto Chess was released and became an almost instant hit. This new type of game was based on a mixture of mahjong and chess, although it featured classic gaming-themed elements like AI battles, items, gold, and more.
Its popularity came from the simplicity of the game, as well as the high skill ceiling and overall uniqueness. Just months after Dota Auto Chess first released, huge companies like Valve, Riot, and Blizzard had all announced their own spin-offs of the game, eventually leading to the releases of Dota Underlords, Teamfight Tactics, and Hearthstone Battlegrounds.
Dota Auto Chess quickly became a viral title and with so many spin-offs on the way, a whole new genre known as Auto Battler was created.
Dota Auto Chess was the original Auto Battler
However, since the Auto Battler glory days in 2019, the genre has largely died down. In fact, you’ll hardly find any players on the original game mode anymore and Dota Underlords last received an update in November 2020.
Just one game made it out of the Auto Battler frenzy as a huge success: Teamfight Tactics. While there were key differences in gameplay that could have been the make and break between TFT and its rivals, one of the biggest reasons for Riot’s Auto Battler's success was their use of user generated content.
Let’s take a look at how exactly Riot Games used ugc to ensure Teamfight Tactics’ success.