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Back to the MMO drawing board.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

March 21, 2024

2 Min Read
Characters from Riot's 2009 MOBA, League of Legends.
Image via Riot Games.

At a Glance

  • Riot is committed to getting League's MMO out into the world, no matter how long it takes.

Riot Games revealed its still-untitled (and unannounced) League of Legends MMO has restarted development.

In a lengthy Twitter thread, co-founder Marc Merill said the redirection took place "some time ago." That choice was made, he said, because the MMO felt too much like the mothership game.

Riot first revealed it was doing a League MMO in 2020, but has otherwise been quiet on its progress. Merill said it can't just be a standard MMO with a "Runeterra coat of paint," it has to feel like a "significant evolution of the genre."

Heading up this new endeavor will be Fabrice Condominas as executive producer. Previously a producer on Star Wars: Squadrons and Mass Effect: Andromeda at EA, Condominas has been at Riot since 2021.

He'll be joined by technical director Vijay Thakkar, who Merill says already helped build "key components" of the project's technical foundation.

As a further result of the reset, Merrill said Riot will opt to not talk about the MMO project for "likely several years."

Riot wants an MMO, but will the world be here for it?

Making any large-scale multiplayer project can be a massive undertaking, particularly for studios who've never done it before.

So far, Riot has worked on MOBAs, action-platformers, and fighting games. But MMOs require a lot of upkeep and manpower, and many die not long after release.

Trying to get new MMOs off the ground have been tricky for some studios. Earlier this year, Blizzard canceled its in-progress MMO Odyssey, years after it'd canceled another would-be MMO, Titan.

A more important to ask may be what the landscape for MMOs and online games will look like when (and if) Riot's project releases. Across the board, multiplayer games have had their struggles in recent years.

This is especially true for Riot, which has already acknowledged that previous "big bets" its leaders took didn't pay off, resulting in hundreds losing their jobs back in January.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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