For almost ten years, Riot Games sat on League Of Legends alone, looking content with one of the biggest games in the world. Turns out, they've been busy. Riot last night announced five new games, four of them based upon the LoL. They're making the LoL CCG Legends Of Runeterra, sportsteam sims LoL Esports Manager, fighting game 'Project L', and action-RPG-ish 'Project F'. The fifth game is surprisingly unconnected to LoL, multiplayer FPS 'Project A'.
All they need now to claim full dominion over video games is a LoL battle royale and a LoL truck simulator. They announced a LoL cartoon last night too so heck, why not a LoL theme park? Have a Runeterra Cinematic Universe. Start a LoL currency. Build a floating independent nation of Runeterra on international waters. Hop to.
The game closest to launch is Legends Of Runeterra, a wizard-battling card game using LoL characters and their abilities. Jay Castello had a look at that for us, and the game is already in the claws of streamers if you want to see more.
LoL's wizards will also star in the fighting game codenamed Project L. We know that Project L's development team includes Tom Cannon, who co-founded the fighting game festival Evo as well as co-founding game studio Radiant Entertainment. Radiant had been making Rising Thunder, a fighting game known for lowering the barrier of entry by removing complex button combos, until Riot bought them in 2016. Riot have not said much about Project L but hey, here they are in another genre.
League's world of Runeterra will also host Project F, a mysterious game which looks like it might be some sort of action-RPG. All we know is that it's multiplayer, it's set in LoL's world, and you bash baddies as LoL's wizards.
LoL is covered from a different angle in League Of Legends Esports Manager, a game which does exactly what it says on the tin. Players will build and manage a team of digital sportists. Real LoL pro teams will appear, and Riot will share revenue with them. I suppose this is one for people who are less interested in LoL's colourful wizards than its competition and mock-apoliticality.
Riot are making mobile versions of LoL and the popular Teamfight Tactics mode (based on Dota Auto Chess) too. Why not?
AND they're making a LoL animated series named Arcane. You know, for when you fancy a break from playing games set in Runeterra. It'll tell the origins of several League wizards.
Or perhaps you're the sort of intellectual to prefer a documentary about the making of LoL.
But if you really, truly want a break from LoL? That's where Riot's new multiplayer FPS, codenamed Project A, comes in. Set in a whole new world, the "tactical shooter" stars a range of characters with different special abilities. I might mention Overwatch for ease of comparison, though in the few seconds of prototype video that Riot share it looks almost a bit Counter-Strike-ish with snappy, deadly guns.
I don't know why Riot have created a new world with new wizards for Project A when they already have a wizworld they love so much. I suppose a second transmedia franchise has to start somewhere. See you in 2029 for the announcement of a Project A card game, action-RPG, management sim, and MOBA. Then in 2039 we'll be ready for Project A's movies to cross over with the Runeterra Cinematic Universe.
All this would seem a lot even if Riot announced it over ten years, let alone one night. Have they only just realised that people play some games not made by Riot? Are they irked that the company don't have full transgenre, transmedia domination of our hearts, minds, and time? Perhaps Disney can buy Riot from Tencent and then all mass-market media will merge.