To celebrate ten strong years of MOBA mega-hit League of Legends, Riot announced that it would be expanding into new territory during their celebratory “Riot Pls” livestream. Along with the reveal of League of Legend‘s latest champion, Riot also showcased their long-rumored new fighting game and seven other new projects, one with a completely original IP behind it. This will push Riot beyond its current status as a single-title developer and potentially set them up as a heavy-hitter in every popular esports category.
Five of six new game projects are set in the League of Legends universe, which will allow Riot to capitalize on the popularity and familiarity of their hugely successful existing property. The first major project announcement is League of Legends: Wild Rift, a new five-versus-five MOBA for console and mobile platforms. Riot describes the game as similar to the PC version of League of Legends, but stress that Wild Rift is not a port but a unique adaptation tailor-made for the mobile and console platforms, using twin-stick style controls and shorter games. The game is expected to launch for mobile in 2020, with console versions following.
After first confirming the existence of the “worst kept secret” project at this year’s EVO, Riot showed off the first footage of what is currently called Project L, a 2D-style fighting game somewhere between esports-leaning Street Fighter and the accessibility-minded Fantasy Strike that’s likely built on the skeleton of 2015’s Rising Thunder. Project L will use characters and locations from the League of Legends universe to make up stages and the roster and is currently in the pre-alpha development stage.
Riot’s Project A is also a huge departure in genre and something of a surprise announcement. Project A is a new character-based tactical FPS with a vibrant visual style being developed for PC that sure sounds like direct esports competition for Blizzard’s Overwatch, first released in 2016. Project A will feature brand-new characters and stories set on a “beautiful near-future Earth,” and Riot plans to share more details next year.
Another rival for a popular Blizzard title is Legends of Runeterra, a free-to-play card-based strategy game similar to Hearthstone. Legends of Runetarra also uses the League of Legends universe and emphasizes player “creativity and cleverness” to tactically maneuver towards victory. This new card game will be available for PC and mobile platforms in 2020, with pre-registration for a chance to play available now.
Riot also mentioned a mysterious Project F game that PC Gamer describes as a possible Diablo-like adventure-RPG that allows cooperative play in the world of Runeterra, but haven’t released much detail on the project yet. Project F is in very early development.
Also announced was League of Legends Esports Manager, a new sports managements simulator that is “designed to expand the esports ecosystem.” Esports Manager will have a revenue-sharing system with real-world pro organizations and will launch with the League of Legends Pro League in 2020 and expand to other leagues and players in the future.
Lastly, Riot announced a new mobile version of their Auto Chess-style Teamfight Tactics, set to launch in early 2020. Teamfight Tactics on mobile will follow the same update schedule as the PC version, with new content every three or four months.
The latest Champion to join the League of Legends roster is Senna, who Riot revealed with a new animated character trailer called “Shadow’s Embrace.” Senna is unique in that she’s a support marksman and will be available for play on November 10th. A big game update follows on November 20th titled “Rise of the Elements” that will prep the game for the 2020 competitive season and expand the role of Elemental Drakes during matches on the Summoner’s Rift map.
Riot also announced two-non game projects in development during their 10-year anniversary stream. In addition to developing and producing Arcade, a new animated series set in the League of Legends universe, Riot has also released a feature-length documentary titled League of Legends Origins that details the game’s history and incredible popularity. Arcade is estimated to debut in 2020, and Origins is now available on streaming platform Netflix.
There was also the announcement of the Riot Games Social Impact Fund, a new undertaking that Riot says has been in active since earlier this year, with Riot having donated over $4 million on behalf of players to worldwide charitable causes. All proceeds from Riot’s new Dawnbreaker Karma Skin will go towards the Riot Games Social Impact Fund.