For a decade now, Riot Games has been known almost exclusively for League of Legends, the ultra-successful MOBA that can still attract 8 million simultaneous players at its daily peak. But in an anniversary livestream tonight, the company confirmed a veritable smorgasbord of new gaming and entertainment projects for the first time, all set in the same League of Legends universe.
Those projects include:
- League of Legends: Wild Rift: A new version of the MOBA built from the ground up with a twin-stick control scheme designed for consoles and mobile phones and a focus on 15 to 18-minutes games. Due on mobile phones in 2020.
- Legends of Runeterra: A competitive card game set in the League of Legends universe. Cards will not be unlocked via randomized pack purchases, Riot said.
- “Project A”: Described as “a stylish, competitive, character-based tactical shooter for PC,” this sounds like Riot’s answer to Overwatch or Team Fortress 2. More information expected next year.
- “Project L”: “A fighting game set in the LoL universe” that’s “in early stage development.” Likely being developed by the remnants of Rising Thunder developer Radiant Entertainment, which Riot acquired in 2016.
- “Project F”: “A very early development project that explores the possibilities of traversing the world of Runeterra with your friends,” as Riot describes it. Brief streamed footage looked reminiscent of Diablo and other third-person action RPGs.
- League of Legends Esports Manager: A team management game that lets players manage a team of simulated LoL pros that sounds similar to the Football Manager series. Planned to launch with League of Legends Pro League support next year.
- Teamfight Tactics Mobile: A smartphone port of Riot’s recent autobattler game mode, planned for the first quarter of 2020.
- Arcane: An animated series set in the League of Legends universe, planned for 2020.
- League of Legends Origins: A “feature-length documentary” highlighting the game’s growth, available now on Netflix.
The rapid project expansion, after a full decade of existence as a de facto single-game company puts the Tencent-owned conglomerate and its 2,500 employees immediately in a class with multi-franchise publishing behemoths like Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft. Unlike those companies, though, Riot is currently focusing all of its efforts on games in a single shared universe, building on ten years of lore and character design as it attempts to rapidly expand to other popular genres.
“We have the benefit of being able to be long term,” Riot Games Co-founder Marc Merrill told The Washington Post about the long wait for further games from the company. “We don’t have to go push out a product to meet some quarterly deadline or revenue target or whatnot.”
Riot’s expansion comes as the company continues to recover from widespread accusations of sexual harassment first published by Kotaku last September. A a number of class-action lawsuits that stemmed from those allegations were settled in August, and Riot said in a blog post at the time that “we can confidently state that gender discrimination (in pay or promotion), sexual harassment, and retaliation are not systemic issues at Riot.”