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Austin-based Spacetime Studios to release competitive mobile game

Austin mobile game developer Spacetime Studios is taking dead aim at the competitive gaming market with a soon-to-be-released title.

“Call of Champions” will be released this summer for Apple and Android devices and will be shown off at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival next month.

For Spacetime, the game is a foray into the world of multiplayer online battle arena games, such as the popular “League of Legends” and “Dota 2.”

CEO Gary Gattis said “Call of Champions” was built with competitive gaming in mind and the studio tested it with some local gaming groups. Their reaction was “phenomenal,” he said.

“They did exactly what we’d hoped they’d do, which was immediately pick up and understand the game and then really want to kick each others’ (behinds),” he said.

What will set “Call of Champions” apart from competitors, its developers say, is that it can be played anywhere. That’s unusual for the genre, which typically requires a PC and keyboard.

“You can have a competitive gaming experience, but you don’t have to … be tethered to your computer anymore,” Gattis said.

The team-based game is designed with mobile in mind; matches will be much shorter – about 5 minutes – than PC counterparts, whose games can easily last 30 to 45 minutes.

“It’s a highly innovative, new type of game that has never been seen on mobile before,” Gattis said.

“Call of Champions” is stepping into a huge market. Similar competitive games now regularly draw millions of viewers for tournaments and top players can earn big money.

And it could be a potential blockbuster for Spacetime, which employs 55 people and has made a name for itself with popular mobile multiplayer titles like “Pocket Legends.”

But none of its previous games have been player-versus-player in the way that “Call of Champions” is. The game will feature teams of three players each squaring off.

Cinco Barnes, the studio’s chief vision officer, said a lot of work has been put into balancing characters’ abilities to make everything as competitive as possible. But when the game is released, the developers know that players will quickly find weaknesses and take advantage.

“We know things will happen and so we expect to be fast,” Barnes said.

Gattis said “Call of Champions” was built with the eSport market in mind, but he doesn’t see it as a competitor to others in its genre.

“We don’t want to compete with (games like “League of Legends),” he said. “We want to be what you play when you’re not playing those games. You can’t take your PC with you all the time and more and more people don’t. We think we hit a really nice sweet spot.”

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