League of Legends has grown to become the biggest and most successful multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game of all time. Looking back at LoL through the years, we can see how much the game changed so much. Different aspects we used to love about it, new elements we’ve come to love all pass by in the blink of an eye. It’s time to look at how Riot Games and League of Legends evolved in the past decade up until the present. What made this game so successful that it is played in almost every part of the world?
The Birth of League of Legends
League of Legends was heavily inspired by the Warcraft III unofficial game mode – Defense of the Ancients (DotA), which has been long considered the very first successful MOBA games of all time. Since DotA was only supported by the community, some people began thinking about creating an online game inspired by this idea that would bring more gamers to an accessible platform for the players to compete with one another.
Marc “Tryndamere” Merill and Brandon “Ryze” Beck were the co-founders of Riot Games who, together with Steve “Guinsoo” Feak and a small team, developed the prototype for League of Legends. After a few years of development, League of Legends was finally ready to go out to the public. The community was so excited about the idea of League of Legends that when it came out, it instantly became a massive success in the market.
League of Legends Early Years
Only a few people will actually remember playing League of Legends in its early stages. There have been so many changes to LoL through the years and the original players have probably moved on from playing the game for so long. Looking at how it looked like back in 2011, the game really looks old and clunky compared to its current design. Of course, fans would argue that the old map had its own charm and is something they really miss.
League of Legends didn’t have the same number of champions it did now. In fact, the original League of Legends game only had 17 champions compared to the 148 champions we have today. That’s a really limited champion pool considering teams consist of 5 players each (10) in total and would often just face the same champion they’re playing. Most of these champions were even too overpowered for their own good.
Playing League of Legends in the early 2010s felt like a new experience overall for MOBA fans all over the world. Since the game was release in a free to play model, everyone could play it freely and talk about it. Despite rival companies making their own MOBA games in response to the success of LoL through the years, nobody could overtake how fast the game’s popularity was growing all over the world.
The game sustained itself with the vanity shop and became very loyal to its free-to-play model, making sure that money doesn’t have an impact on how good you are in the game. Eventually, the team would grow into the company we love today – Riot Games. They began continuously working on the game to improve certain elements and introduce new characters, ideas, and game modes.
League of Legends Competitive Series
It’s no surprise that a battle arena game would spark the need for official tournaments. Even in DotA, unofficial tournaments were being help in local communities to test who the best team was. Fortunately for League of Legends fans, there was no need to organize unofficial tournaments because Riot Games themselves began promoting teams to play for their game and start the very first competitive series in North America and Europe.
The very first League of Legends world championships were held in Sweden with 3 North American Teams, 3 European Teams, and 2 Southeast Asian Teams participating in the tournament. This tournament gave inspiration to many players and organizations around the world the start their own competitive series. Many players have joined LoL through the years and a lot of them are now inactive but will always live on in their epic moments on the big stage.
The Evolution of LoL Through the Years
After Riot Games’ huge success with the skin economy and esports scene, the company acquired more budget to pursue more ambitious changes to the game. League of Legends underwent massive changes in its visuals, gameplay, and even the model itself. Some players didn’t really like these changes but a lot appreciate the upgrade. The game felt more modern, smoother, and less distracting with tall the elements it had.
If you started playing League of Legends somewhere between 2016-2020, you’d be surprised on how the game looked back in 2011 where the Nexus, Inhibitors and Turrets looked like they came straight out of The Dark Crystal movie. The jungle, dragons, and even lanes were reworked to introduce more strategic options for the teams to contest objectives in the game. Overall, the game looks really nice in today’s time.
League of Legends Today
Today, League of Legends has established its place as the most successful MOBA game in the market with over 115 million active players each month. Featuring an elemental theme which focuses on taking down drakes who harbor the essences of the plant. The game has 148 champions in total with each role have over 30 champions each. The game is more fast-paced with high priority on securing drakes to ensure your chances of finishing the game.
Each region is preparing for the World Finals, with the best representatives competing against each other to get a spot for the main event. Despite the global pandemic being a hindrance to this event, Riot Games still insisted to push through with the event but with strict health protocols to prevent anything from going badly. In just a few months, the next world champions are about to be crowned as the bet team in the world.
Riot Games Current Endeavors
Riot Games started out as a small group who developed their game – League of Legends. Today, Riot Games is owns TeamFight Tactics, Valorant, Legends of Runeterra and League of Legends as a whole. Aside from this, they are still planning to release other titles from different game genres which they aim on becoming major esports in the future. Riot Games has grown enough that this has become extremely possible for them to do.
If you have been following Riot Games for a while or simply just a newcomer to their games, you can expect that they’ll become a huge video game corporation. With the success of both TeamFight Tactics and Valorant in today’s time, there’s no doubt that the company definitely knows what they’re doing in terms of their ability to make interesting titles. Aside from games, they are also planning to create an animated series about the world of Runeterra.
Riot’s Second Biggest Success – Valorant
Valorant can be considered as Riot Game’s second biggest success since TeamFight Tactics isn’t an independent entity from League of Legends and Legends of Runeterra didn’t create too much of a boom in the market. The tactical first-person shooter game has incorporate elements from beloved games of the same genre. So much so that Valorant even became the most viewed category on Twitch during its beta week.
Riot Games has recently promoted the unofficial competitive series hosted by eSports organizations in different parts of the world. Large esports organizations have begun recruiting top players in the game to fill up their rosters and prepare for the rise of its official competitive series. Even media has started covering these events and have begun watching players who have been performing the best in their rosters.
Riot Games’ Goals and Missions
Riot Games has always been focused on giving players internationally a game which is accessible by everyone with no pay-to-win factors whatsoever that places more fortunate people over others. They also want to create games where people can start their careers, whether it be on streaming, entertaining, educating & training, or professional esports. That’s why people love Riot Games as a company so much.
The company will always place the interests of their players first, making sure that all their needs are reasonably met. This is in line with Riot Games’ core values that ensure their company will always strive for better quality content that doesn’t try to put their own interests first, proving that the company is one that will give them further success in their future endeavors aside from video games and animations.
What will Riot Games do in the future?
Riot Games as a company will always be primarily a Video Game Developer. Now that they have split their focus from League of Legends, they are free to create whatever game they want in the future. This also includes more animations and film-making which will help promote the games they are developing. Aside from that, they’ll be focusing more on trying to extend the esports scene on more parts of the world for them to enjoy.
As a fan of Riot Games, you should be optimistic of what’s to come especially if you’re expecting new titles that would rival those of other Video Game companies. Now that they are starting to branch out from just the PC platform and entering mobile games with League of Legends: Wild Rift, nothing seems impossible for the company anymore. They can only move forward and provide innovations that will change the world.
Worries About the Future
Not everything lasts forever, not even popular Video Games like League of Legends. There will come a day when everyone is tired of playing such an outdated game that has been in the market for several decades. Newer technology will overtake the gaming industry and new game genres will be favored over the others. BUT, that time is not today, nor is will it come any time soon with the game still only reaching brand-new heights.
Perhaps Riot Games will someday be too irrelevant for the taste of modern consumers, but luckily we don’t live in that time yet. For now, we will continue enjoying what they offer us. With new projects in the work, the only thing that will be happening to them in the next decade is establish themselves as the best Video Game developers in the industry. Nothing will be able to stop Riot Games from reaching these heights today.
Past, Present, and Future of Riot Games
It doesn’t matter when you’ve decided to be a fan of Riot Games’ products. Whether you’re here for one of their games or all their games, you are a valued customer to them. Starting out as a small group of friends, turning into one of the largest companies in the world is truly an inspirational story for anyone who wants to enter the video game industry. Riot Games has continued to grow and break the limits of what is possible.
Today, they have become an icon for aspiring video game developers as the story of success. The company does a great job to meet the expectations of its fanbase by keeping the integrity of their work. In the future, they’ll show us that the only thing keeping you from succeeding is yourself. More great video games will arrive, and surely they will be as beloved as the titles Riot Games has today. For that, we truly thank the company!
Who owns Riot Games?
Riot Games is owned by Chinese Video Game Titans – Tencent. While they were originally established by Marc “Tryndamere” Merill and Brandon “Ryze” Beck, 97% of the companies shares were bought out by Tencent.
What games has does Riot Games developed?
The games that the company developed are: League of Legends, Legends of Runeterra, TeamFight Tacticts, Valorant, and League of Legends: Wild Rift. These games are available either on the PC platform or smart phone platform.