It seems developer Riot Games is looking to bring one of the world’s most popular games, the MOBA League of Legends, to the mobile market. According to a Reuters report, a mobile version of League of Legends is reportedly in development.
Both Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Riot did not provide comment on the matter, but Reuters reports that “one of the sources said Tencent and Riot have been working on a mobile version of ‘League of Legends’ for more than a year.” A separate source, according to Reuters, says this mobile League of Legends probably won’t launch this year.
Reuters cites data aggregator Statista, which states that League of Legends raked in $1.4 billion last year, a 21% decrease from the year prior but a huge sum nonetheless. Bringing League of Legends to mobile, a game with 10 years of history under its belt, would bode well for both Riot and Tencent. As Reuters puts it, “Mobile games accounted for 57% of videogame revenue in China in 2018 but only 36% in the U.S. market.”
As Newzoo analyst Gu Tianyi states, “League of Legends is not doing as well as it used to and so Riot badly needs a new way to monetise the game, especially considering that it is Riot’s only game.”
In our Most Influential Games of the 21st Century series, we covered the impact League of Legends has had on things like the burgeoning esports industry. “From record viewership numbers on Twitch to hosting one of the biggest esports events ever at Madison Square Garden in 2016, Riot Games’ prodigal son has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2009. Blizzard and Valve, the top dogs when Riot Games entered the scene, are now playing catch-up to the well-oiled Ferrari that is the League of Legends production model, and it shows.”
While there’s no doubting the significance of League, developer Riot has received an increase amount of attention recently due to complaints from its employees. Most recently, more than 150 members of its staff staged a walkout to protest company policies.