Riot Games was created in 2006 and launched League of Legends, their first-ever game, in 2009. LOL has cemented itself in the gaming industry, being one of the most played (and hated) games. Yet, its most valuable asset could be its lore. With over 150 champions and great lore, Runeterra is an amazing place to take inspiration from, and Riot knows it.
As such, the company has launched a program called “Riot Forge”, focused on creating games based on the LOL world. Thus far, it has created 2 new LOL-based games: Ruined King and Hextech Mayhem; and there are two more on their way. Furthermore, Riot games has also created an acclaimed animated series and is going to publish a book in September of this year. In other words, their plan of branching and expansion is nowhere near the end.
Riot’s recent years
Riot has been in the gaming industry for more than a decade, but it is in recent years that they have really stepped up their level. With LOL increasing in popularity each year, players started asking for new content and that is what Riot gave them.
In 2019 and 2020, the company decided to release Teamfight Tactics, Valorant, and Legends of Runeterra. The games’ publishing, announced a decade after League of Legends, proved to be a wise choice; as all of the games became widely played and streamed in the industry. This shows how, in a brief period of time, a gaming company can grow and introduce itself to new markets.
(Video by Necrit on Riot’s future)
Although this is not new, the success of both Riot games’ products is quite unprecedented. We can only name a handful of prosperous games with their extraordinary entertainment counterparts; them mostly being Pokemon, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Castlevania (what’s with Japanese games and success?). Still, these franchises have not been as acknowledged as Riot’s: LOL is one of the most played games in the world, with 180 million monthly active players, and the Arcane series has been a total success on Netflix.
Consequences on Riot Games and the gaming industry
When taking a look at the evolution and success of Riot’s strategy, the butterfly effect it might cause has to be analyzed. At the end of the day, when a company has generated large benefits in no time, they become a model. And, as such, they have to change their ways, as well as influence others.
Firstly, it must be noted that Riot games will do everything it can to produce more and more entertainment gems. As such, they will continue the products they have and will invest a lot into new ones. With a new season of Arcane and at least 3 games in the making, who knows what Riot has planned for the future. The only thing we know is that, whatever they create, it will surely be trending and that the “Rito” memes will never stop.
Ready yourselves, friends. Season 2 of Arcane is now in production.
Where’s a Hexgate when you need one? pic.twitter.com/3aUeWuQ5Uu
— Arcane (@arcaneshow) November 21, 2021
Nonetheless, the really important consequences will take place in the remaining gaming industry. Riot Games has set a precedent and other companies are trying to follow. For example, Xbox game studios has launched a Halo series this year and studio MDHR has released The Cuphead Show! Other game studios will for sure want to hop up the trend and release new content based on their games, so they will need to invest. This is where the important consequences start to appear.
Possible industry consequences
Other game studios will surely change and adapt to the path set by Riot. Therefore, the industry might reshape and reappear as one that has never been seen before. But what can really happen?
- Firstly, game studios will spend a lot of money creating new entertainment products off of their games and improving said games. Thus, providing the players with a better game experience and other exciting ways to enjoy their favorite franchises.
- Moreover, as game studios create more products based on games, the fanbase of the games will increase, bringing in more gamers. This, in turn, will encourage studios to invest even more in their products, creating more and improving user experience.
- On the other hand, studios may fail during this investment, which can cause them to collapse. This can turn possibly great games, or even studios, into ones that failed due to a wrong investment.
- Finally, on the same note, if the trend keeps on spreading, there will be a lot of small, indie companies that will not be able to keep up with the “standard”. As such, they may fall behind other big studios, creating a big gap between them. It may even be more difficult for new studios to enter the industry in the long run.
All in all, Riot has lit the spark and the rest of the gaming industry will have to change and adapt in the coming years. We can only hope the changes are for the best and more great game-based entertainment is published, more people become interested in gaming and the industry grows as a whole.
great discussion, interesting article