Tuesday, November 30

How LoL Makes Riot Games ‘Z’

Founded in 2006, Riot Games had only one service work, ‘League of Legends (LoL)’, for a long time that the company’s name, Games, was embarrassing. ‘Strategic Team Battle’ and ‘Legend of Runeterra’, which can be called separate games even after the game was released, only appeared in 2019 and 2020, so it has filled the name of Games with one LoL for about 10 years.

In other words, Riot Games may have been itching to expand the franchise, as it was very popular from the beginning of its release and the game has been serviced with the highest level of popularity for over 10 years. If you compare it to other companies in the market, would it be more accurate to say that it moved too slowly?

In the rapidly changing game ecosystem, it is not an option to extract several games with one work. New games are pouring in today, and well-known games can change anytime. So, it became quite natural to shoot a sequel to a well-made game, a work that utilizes IP.

And most of the time, this franchise expansion is developed in such a way as to make up for the lack of sales. Games that were loved as online games were released on other platforms before their popularity waned, giving only the title of the game, using the terms character, story, or IP. Usually, mobile is the main platform with clear sales growth, and there are even some companies that choose mobile as the successor to mobile immediately after the success of the PC version.

So, the way Riot Games expands its LoL franchise is quite heterogeneous.

The genre of MOBA is designed to focus on the gameplay itself in every game, so the story doesn’t play a very important role. Unless it’s the case of ‘Heroes of the Storm’, which was developed as an All-Star game concept with a well-planned background, the story of the characters must be well made, and the background setting is limited to a setting that can make you laugh.

In MOBA, the story can’t directly drive the game, but can instead serve as a window into the game’s consumption in other ways. That’s how Riot Games took the world of LoL Reasons for expanding in a different way than beforePray.

Since the first 17 champs appeared in LoL, a lot of champs have been added every year. Based on the most recent champion, the Vex, the number has reached 157. It is virtually impossible to weave the story of a large number of characters according to the flow of events, and it is not easy to add new characters. That’s why the region division in Runeterra, the world of LoL, has emerged.

Riot Forge, a developer and publisher of Runeterra, which tells a story through a short animation, to a completely different genre of work in collaboration with an outsourced developer. And several works, up to ‘Arcane’, which ended season 1 with favorable reviews, deal with the stories of each region and its champions, such as Piltover, Zaun, Bilgewater, and Freljord.

There is no need to include all the stories like a history book, but only the stories of the main champions and weave them naturally. Thanks to that, I was able to adjust the background settings appropriately to fit the story in the newly developed work, and I was able to immerse myself in each champion more deeply.

In particular, dividing the development of games that are released separately by region to several companies produces quite positive results when viewed as individual works.

The adventure ‘Nunu’s Song’ was produced by Tequila Works, which developed ‘Rhyme’, and the rhythm action ‘Magic Engineering Mayhem’ was produced by Choice Provisions, the developer of the running music action ‘Beat Trip’. Double Stallion of ‘Time/Crossing’ and Airship Syndicate of ‘The Fallen King’ are also companies with a history of platform action and turn-based RPG development, respectively. This meant that those who had a lot of experience in the genre were able to freely tell the story of the region and the champion. ‘Arcane’ also goes beyond simple action and unique art, and is made so that even those who do not know the original story can fall in love with the characters’ tragedy and psychological description.

In this way, the regional development drawn by each game plays a role of filling in the weak part of the story in LoL more firmly. This means that the eyes of players who enjoyed the game will naturally return to LoL. You should hope for the success of the individual work, but it is an extension to hold onto the existing game fans more firmly, rather than splendidly transferring the existing game fans through the individual work. Contrary to the expansive area that expands around LoL, the direction of expansion is to focus users again on LoL.

Riot Games is expanding the story of the Runeterra regions through publishing externally, and internally, it develops into a new genre encompassing the entire LoL such as fighting, MMO, mobile MOBA, card game, auto battler, and management simulation. draw a In addition, Riot is becoming a company that fits the name of ‘Games’ as it develops non-LoL games such as ‘Valorant’, which has clearly achieved global results, and ‘High Tail’ of Hypixel, famous for Minecraft.

Of course, this strategy may be possible because Riot Games is one of the most successful games in the game industry. Riot Games can only sustain the next 10 years like the last 10 years.

In fact, there are already a plethora of cases where games that implemented LoL’s charging model with good charging failed because they did not secure enough users, and latecomers who tried to share the MOBA pie did not achieve the proper results and finished the service. There are only a handful of game companies around the world that can properly imitate the franchise expansion that is aimed at only one target audience of LoL. It means that if you havetily imitate a franchise expansion headed by a bow with a good LoL, you may get results that are neither here nor there.

So, I can’t help but look at Riot Games’ move on a path that has never been seen before. Riot’s game ‘Z’ draws a different direction from printing new works by rushing to the numbers in front of you, such as sales, concurrent users, and sales per active customer. The expansion of the franchise now under development will re-illuminate the path forward for LoL and Riot.


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