Riot Games ‘Exploring Lots of Different Games’, Not Necessarily in the League of Legends Universe

Aug 4, 2018
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Riot Games co-chairman and co-founder Marc Merrill recently stirred quite a lot of discussion after he tweeted asking the League of Legends community whether the developer should build an MMO.

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Variety had the chance to interview Merrill after the fact and he revealed that Riot Games is definitely exploring other projects to finally branch out of merely doing League of Legends.

It’s an exciting time for us as a company. We’re emerging from being the ‘League of Legends’ company to whatever it will be in the future. We’ve been working for such a long period of time on so many things.

The tweet was a bit controversial internally. Absolutely there was some risk, we may never deliver on that question, on the other hand, it is so validating and exciting to have players’ minds focused on what could come.

The reality at Riot is that we are exploring lots of different games. We have a whole bunch of RND teams exploring different opportunities that we think would resonate with players.

It felt like an opportune time to check the pulse of the community. To ask, ‘What do you think about this? Should we do this or not?’ It was a surprise to hear so many people interested and passionate about the idea.

I’m not going to answer that directly. The question that is really interesting and relevant is, ‘What does the future of MMOs look like?’ I think we have a view, others have a view, players have a view. ‘World of Warcraft’ continues to be a dominating game. There is a really good argument that going head-to-head with ‘WoW’ may not be the best move, but who knows. We’re exploring a lot of stuff, thinking about a lot of stuff.

Interestingly, he also added that this game doesn't necessarily have to be set in the League of Legends IP. On the other hand, Riot Games will not seek to please everyone with a mass market-friendly product.

There is no imperative that we just do things in the ‘League of Legends’ universe. We need to develop games that will resonate with a particular audience and focus on the gameplay first, then the IP needs to support that game.

Like with ‘League of Legends’ we’re not going to try and please everyone or do things even oriented to a mass market. We think of ‘League of Legends’ as a niche market that’s really focused.

What would you like to see from Riot Games next? Let us know in the comments!

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