Developer Riot Games seems to bring one of the world’s most popular games, League of Legends, on mobile reportedly according to a Reuters report in collaboration with Tencent.
However both Tencent and Riot did not provide any official comment on the matter. But as per Reuters sources it has been more than a year that Tencent and Riot have been working on a mobile version of League of Legends and it won’t launch this year.
Reuters cites data aggregator Statista, which states that League of Legends raked in $1.4 billion last year, a 21 per cent decrease from the year prior but a huge sum nonetheless. Bringing League of Legends to mobile, a game with 10 years of history under its belt, would bode well for both Riot and Tencent. As Reuters puts it, “Mobile games accounted for 57 per cent of videogame revenue in China in 2018 but only 36 per cent in the U.S. market.”
Right now League of Legends is only available on PC, but Tencent has released a number of similar “MOBAs” (multiplayer online battle arenas) that have been a success on mobile. The biggest in the West is Arena of Valor.
Those games reportedly created tensions with Riot due to their similarities with League of Legends. It is believed Riot actually rejected a Tencent proposal years ago to develop a mobile version of the game.
Since then, however, Tencent has acquired a majority stake in Riot. Sources say the two have been working on a League of Legends mobile port for over a year, “although a separate source said it was unlikely to be launched in 2019.”
As Newzoo analyst Gu Tianyi states, “League of Legends is not doing as well as it used to and so Riot badly needs a new way to monetise the game, especially considering that it is Riot’s only game.”
While there’s no doubting the significance of League, developer Riot has received an increasing amount of attention recently due to complaints from its employees. Most recently, more than 150 members of its staff staged a walkout to protest company policies.