According to a new report, China's Tencent Holdings Ltd and Riot Games are working on a mobile League of Legends version. As the mobile games market continues to grow in the wake of Pokemon GO's and Fortnite's successes, more developers have been eager to port their best-performing properties to the platform, and it appears Riot is no different.
League of Legends is one of the most consistently-popular games on the planet, and has been for years. While the game itself remains one of the best around, however, it has often been criticized for its extracurricular activity, whether that be a toxic community or an even more problematic environment surrounding the game's development. With Riot walkouts still happening and no end in sight to the arbitration policies that employees are adamantly against, there's not a lot of positive publicity left clinging to either the developer or League of Legends by proxy.
That could change if news of a mobile League of Legends ends up being true. A report from Reuters certainly makes a compelling case for the adaptation, suggesting that three reliable sources all corroborated the claim. One of the sources reportedly suggested that the project has been ongoing for over a year, while another indicated that it was unlikely the version would be released in 2019. League of Legends brought in 1.4 billion dollars in revenue last year, but that represented a precipitous 21% drop in earnings, likely prompting Riot to investigate other avenues to generate income.
According to Reuters, mobile games accounted for 57% of videogame revenue in China, which suggests that a mobile League of Legends version would represent a massive influx in revenue for Riot should it catch on in the country. Beyond that, with League of Legends currently performing poorly by its own lofty standards and Riot embroiled in several PR nightmares, a shift to a new, exciting platform for a game that's nearly a decade old is the kind of fresh start the developer is looking for.
Mobile game adaptations are nothing new. Fortnite is the best example of a game that succeeded in the transition, and when it's done well, it represents a huge market demographic that was previously inaccessible for these titles. It remains to be seen if a game as complex as League of Legends can make the leap in the same way a title like Fortnite could, but with the right build of the game, a mobile League of Legends could completely revitalize the property and re-establish it as the de facto competitive multiplayer title heading into 2020 and beyond.