Riot Games is a company most known for League of Legends, a game that dominated the MOBA genre. Released in 2009, LoL is played around the world and makes millions of dollars each year, culminating in yearly world championship tournaments held in October and November. They’ve released a couple of small side games over the years that died off, but for a large part of the last decade, the question was why Riot Games was even plural.
For their 10th anniversary celebration on Oct. 15, a series of announcements were made in regards to the future of League of Legends and Riot Games. Varying in importance, these announcements showed at the very least the future-oriented nature of the company moving forward.
In terms of League of Legends, Riot decided on something that has made Battle Royal games very popular in the last few years. The 2020 season of LoL will feature a dynamic map, that will change over time and make other players need to adjust on a game-to-game basis. While an argument can be made in favor of a stable map so that randomness isn’t present in a competitive scenario, dynamic maps are proven to be healthy for the longevity of the game.
Riot also announced Senna, their new champion. While a handful of champions are released every year, Senna is different in the sense that she retcons the established lore of two previous champions, Lucian and Thresh. Lucian’s story revolves around the loss of Senna, his wife, and his quest for vengeance against Thresh, who captured Senna’s soul. An individual champion’s release isn’t as important as the implications that Riot isn’t afraid to overhaul what the players already know to keep the overarching story interesting.
The other LoL-related announcement was the introduction of a mobile platform for the game, codenamed Wild Rift. Wild Rift will bring a simplified version of League of Legends to any and all mobile devices. Also included are new models for the champions in the game, likely for an easier mobile experience.
Legends of Runeterra will be a card game set in the League of Legends universe. Having already showcased a weekend of closed beta, LoR will seek to make their mark in a system already occupied by the likes of Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering. LoR will play similarly to MtG for the most part, and will feature all the champions League of Legends players already know and love, while being user friendly for people who are not yet introduced to LoL on its own.
Project A is a first-person shooter that seemingly took the direction of Overwatch, emphasizing tactics based on the individual ability as opposed to raw gunmanship. The preview shown put out this vibe of shooters like Team Fortress 2, with vibrant colors that emphasized a stylish approach to a genre saturated by the likes of Call of Duty.
For years, fans have expressed desire for Riot to use their cinematic expertise for something greater. It would appear Riot has listened as they announced their new animated series entitled “Arcane.” This show will take place in the League of Legends universe, and viewers specifically were shown the steampunk cities of Piltover and Zaun, where a large portion of the story is likely to take place. Having hinted at the champions players know being involved with the show, it’s very apparent they know what the fans want.
Sneak peeks were also given of a fighting game and what could be an MMO as Riot put their stamp on the gaming community. After a decade of being known for just the one game, they are taking their stand as a serious contender to take over gaming as we know it. With controversy surrounding Blizzard right now, it could mean that we are seeing a new titan emerge in the community. Long have people speculated that League of Legends was bound to die eventually, but Riot apparently will have none of it.