The Future Of League Of Legends

The Future Of League Of Legends

All, Games

Posted on Thursday, March 21st, 2013

I had great fun researching this article, because it’s a game that I love to play and the answer to the question “what is the future of League of Legends” became pretty obvious as soon as I started analyzing Riot Games (the creators of League of Legends) and their stakeholders. It was surprisingly easy for me, as it covers topics I’m well versed in such as on-line competitive gaming, Blizzard, Warcraft and most importantly of all: Chinese Businesses… bear with me.

First up lets learn about League Of Legends (also known as LOL), in October 2006 Riot Games was formed in California, it consisted of some Blizzard employees and most notably a former developer of the Warcraft 3 mod Defense of the Ancients (so it’s pretty obvious the company was formed with a complete focus on creating a new and improved DOTA game) and after 3 years development they released their first and so far only game: League of Legends to massive success.

League Characters

Funding for Riot Games initially started with a few million from venture capitalists (Source) but after 2 years of explosive growth the Chinese company Tencent Holdings bought a majority steak in the company for $400 Million (US). Now this isn’t some faceless investment company, I consider Tencent Holdings the Google of China. The reason for this is their massive blog/communication system QQ, think of it as ICQ combined with Blogger and a little Facebook thrown in…. with  647.6 million active users!

So what does all this mean for the future of League of Legends? Well I’ve always seen that developers make the decisions but stakeholders shape them and Tencent Holdings (the major stakeholders) is heavily into iteration not revolution. QQ has slowly been improved upon with slight re-designs and feature additions but I wouldn’t say it’s ever been completely remade  and with the steady increase in popularity of League of Legends that has some ramifications…

League of Legends website popularity graph

The global reach graph for the LeagueOfLegends.com website.

  • First up there won’t be a League of Legends 2 for at least 2 years, generally you don’t redesign something until the previous iteration is losing popularity
  • There will be frequent feature additions,some of these will be improved social features e,g, blogging and profile pages
  • With the competition from DOTA 2 becoming apparent the league prize pool will increase every year (probably by roughly 1 million per year) until the popularity declines and the prize pool will stabilize.
  • New forms of monetization are incoming, this is because investors always require every avenue for profit to be investigated. Examples include in-game advertising, team or champion sponsorship, item sales and more.
  • The game will become multi-platform, it’s just too big a beast for just PCs, expect it to be available for consoles, tablets or even high-spec mobile phones.

So in conclusion I don’t foresee any massive changes but I guarantee League of Legends is going to change slowly and incrementally into something completely different over the next 3 years. It’s going to be a bumpy but hugely fun ride.

How do you see the future of League of Legends? Post a comment below.

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2 Comments

  • Naudran says

    2013-03-25 08:00:31

    The company was not founded in 1996, they were founded in 2006. The game is NOT 14 years old ;)

    Reply
    • ollie says

      2013-03-25 10:18:28

      A spelling mistake! The writers curse.

      Updated now.

      Reply

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