In 2019, Riot Games announced that they will be branching out to different games and genres by creating their own 3rd party publishing company. Today, Riot Games officially unveils Riot Forge, alongside two single-player games already on the market and another 2 games expected to be released soon. Since this branch of Riot Games feels so new to the fanbase, we’re here to discuss who they are and the games that they’ve already released and plan to release in the future.
What is Riot Forge?
Riot Forge is a separate entity from Riot Games since they are focuses more on publishing games outside of the main company’s main projects. Being a publishing company, Forge doesn’t necessarily create their own games. Instead, they hire 3rd party game developing companies to create new games under the banner of Forge using the characters and resources that the company already has at its disposal. This means that all their works, despite not being created by Riot Games, are still set in the world of Runeterra.
Riot Forge acts independently of Riot Games but the interests are the same so the games may not branch out from the fact that they are all spinoffs of League of Legends. Keep in mind that Forge hires MULTIPLE different game companies so the games may not feel or be the same with each other. Also, Forge keeps the tradition of Riot Games alive by hiring small but reputable game companies instead of trying to hire already established names; similar to how they choose artists for their music.
Riot Forge’s Business Model
Riot Forge will most likely publish games that are one-time purchases since they will be developed by 3rd-party companies. Unlike the free-to-play titles that we’ve enjoyed so far with Riot Games, the games that we can expect that none of the games will draw profit through different ways such as in-game shops and cosmetics. One common thing that all the games currently released or announced all have is that they are all purely single-player games which is the biggest reason why it’s difficult to change the pay-to-play business model.
Since Forge hires different companies, not every game will be the same genre nor have the same style. This is related to the price that the games might have. The games we have right now are Ruined King (~$18) and Hextech Mayhem (~$7) with the price depending on where you’re from. As a publisher, we can assume that Riot Forge has full control over the pricing which means that we’ll see the games fairly priced according to the level of gameplay the players will have with the game.
Riot Forge’s Platforms
The most important thing that most players are concerned about is where these games will be released. Fans of Riot Games have long indulged in the fact that the games they play are usually released on the PC with some even reaching the mobile platform. If you’re looking forward to Forge’s projects, you might want to know about which platforms they may be released in so that you know how the gameplay will be or if you need to prepare space on your unit to download these games.
1. The PC
Fortunately, Forge will release all their games on the PC first and foremost. The publisher has released both the Ruined King and Hextech Mayhem on PC game distributors such as Steam and Epic Games with the option of purchasing and downloading it directly from the website of the main developer. Since a majority of the Riot community already own a PC, they’ll be happy to hear that they will always have the option of buying and playing these games on their main platform.
There are a lot of benefits to Forge’s games releasing on the PC. First of all, most PC games are a lot cheaper compared to releases in other platforms. It’s also a lot easier to navigate controls on the PC since you have the option of using your keyboard and mouse but you can also just connect your controller if you think this will be more convenient. PC releases also mean that you can crank up the graphics and performance depending on the quality of build your computer has.
Riot Forge has released all of their games on the Nintendo Switch. Some of their games, like Ruined King and Song of Nunu will release on the Playstation and Xbox but it doesn’t seem like the publisher is aiming on having all of their games released on those platforms. It’s only expected that simplistic games like Hextech Mayhem and CONV/RGENCE will release on lighter platforms rather than the powerful Playstation and Xbox consoles but this might come as a disappointment to a lot of console players.
It’s true that the Nintendo Switch isn’t the most powerful console in the market but it is the ONLY one that’s portable. If you haven’t bought a Switch but want to play Forge’s games on the go, it may be a good idea to invest in one now. However, the biggest problem of the Nintendo Switch is that most developers often release it on this platform last and may take days, weeks, or months before the PC version or other ports come to the Switch. Fortunately, none of the games have had delayed releases for the Switch yet.
So far, none of the games that are announced are expected to have an Android or iOS release. This may come as good news to most gamers since they don’t like the fact that their games have a mobile experience since they believe that it lowers the quality of gameplay when ported on the phone or tablet. Riot Forge may have other reasons for not making an Android release that mostly involves their business model and the risks that comes with releasing a paid game for Google Play or App Store.
The biggest reason why Forge likely wants to avoid an Android or iOS release is the fact that it’s easy to download APKs. If you are not familiar with APKs, they are cracked versions of games that people can download on illegal websites which acts and functions similarly to the real game but without the payment. Games are also not really profitable in the mobile market since players don’t like to spend on a game that costs $3 or more on their phones.
The Publisher’s Current Projects
As mentioned previously, the company already published 2 new games and are in production of 2 more releasing sometime soon. These games have already released trailers and are confirmed to arrive anytime before the end of 2021 or by 2022. While a lot are still skeptical about the games that Riot Forge is currently working on, it’s a good idea to read about what these games are and their gameplay so that you can decide on whether or not this game is for you.
1. Ruined King
Ruined King: A League of Legends Story was the first game on the lineup that hit the market and gives light on The Ruination storyline. Everybody is familiar with the botched Ruination event in League of Legends which might lead to people becoming indifferent about this game, which is completely understandable. However, the story of this game and the way it is presented is really good and is a must-play for anyone that really likes to read the Runeterra Lore.
The game is a turn-based RPG where the player will form a team of up to 3 champions who take turns in attacking the enemy. Despite the combat system being turn-based, players can explore a semi-open world that players can interact with so that they can indulge in some dialogue or do other things aside from just fighting the enemy. Ruined King is developed by Airship Syndicate, the company that also made titles like Darksiders Genesis.
2. Hextech Mayhem
Hextech Mayhem is the 2nd game that has been released and follows the story of Ziggs and Heimerdinger. The game is a platformer that also combines elements of a rhythm game to create a fun and action-packed gameplay that highlights perfect timing in terms of controls. The game may seem like it’s a game that doesn’t have depth to it but it actually involves a lot of narratives and cutscenes that are not as heavy as the other titles but is still a good way to explore the world of Runeterra.
Players that don’t like a lot of narrative but like to highlight their skills through gameplay will love this game because of the unique combination of two game genres. If you like Riot Games’ music, this is definitely a game that will keep your foot tapping since the lively music is an absolute treat to the ears. The game is developed by Choice Provisions, a company that has made many other platformer games that you might love.
3. Song of Nunu
Song of Nunu is an open-world adventure game, similar to Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. In this game, players will follow the story of Nunu and Willump as they travel through The Freljord to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles using Nunu’s wits and Willump’s magic. As you might have guess already, the game has a heavy emphasis on the narrative between these two unlikely friends and is definitely a must-play for people who have been curious about their lore for a while.
The open-world experience is something that contemporary players love about the game because it adds a level of immersion to the universe. Similar to Ruined King, players will be able to interact with the world so that they get a deeper understanding of the situation in Runeterra first-hand. Song of Nunu is being developed by Tequila Works, a company that has made a lot of visually-stunning games and beautiful narratives which we want to expect in this game.
CONV/RGENCE is another platformer on the list but this time, features the traditionalistic elements of the genre. As an action-packed platformer, this game features a lot of combat and gameplay that will test the player’s ability to dodge and attack enemies using limited space. The catch is that since this game features Ekko as the main character, players will be utilizing the ability to go back in time a few seconds and use other gameplay features that involve time manipulation.
The game has an interesting artstyle and seems like it will involve a lot of unique storylines. People might have a higher expectation of this game, especially since Ekko appeared in the Arcane series and has had been one of the best characters in the series. This game is being developed by Double Stallion Games, which has released a lot of cartoon games on the market which makes us worried about the depth of the story they can create with a character like Ekko.
What about Project L?
Project L is a fighting game being released by Riot Games, not Riot Forge. The game will be directly created using the resources of Riot Game and people who are associated with creating the entire world of Runeterra. This also means that Project L might come out as a free-to-play game with the option of an in-game cosmetics shop that includes skins and other stuff that shouldn’t make this game pay-to-win. It is one of the most anticipated releases alongside the League of Legends MMO.
We’re not saying that it’s better for the game to be published by Riot Games rather than Riot Forge. Forge, so far, has hired companies that have put such an admirable effort into understanding the Runeterra universe and incorporating it into their games flawlessly. Having other games being developed by other companies means that they’ll have their full attention and share deadlines and other resources with fewer projects compared to Riot Games that has their hands full with so many other games.