"We need to develop games that will resonate with a particular audience and focus on the gameplay first, then the IP needs to support that game.”
-Marc Merrill explains why 'there’s no imperative’ that a new title will use Riot’s existing universe
So far, outside of a board game and a couple of smaller projects here and there, Riot Games has only released one game in its nearly 12-year lifespan: League of Legends. While the studio still works to support its inaugural game with new and updated content, internally leadership has been toying with the idea of making a second title.
The public side of the conversation began with a tweet from Riot Games co-founder Marc Merrill two weeks ago that asked the simple question: “Should we build a MMO?” Speaking to Variety, Merrill followed up on that initial query and offered a light look at how the team at Riot Games is approaching making the studio’s second major game.
Merrill explained that, rather than base the second game in the same universe as League of Legends by default, the studio is striving to create something focused and with some staying power.
“There are lots of games people buy and play on the app store, steam library, on consoles. That creates a lot of interesting questions and challenges, but we focus on what would be worth someone’s time,” Merrill told Variety. “That’s the only type of game we want to create: games with longevity — that’s worth your time.”
The studio has a number of research and development teams exploring new possibilities in the background, but Merrill notes that audience and gameplay need to be established before the worldbuilding efforts kick in.
“We are entirely designed by the audience we try to serve,” he said. ”We will do anything on any platform, any media, to hyper-serve that niche audience well, because more than a game, for us it is about audience focus.”
This, of course, is just one small part of the conversation on Riot's process for approaching that fabled second game. The full interview can be found over on Variety.