If ever a developer had earned the right to think about making a sequel, it’s Riot Games. The studio’s multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game League of Legends has been a huge success. It broke 27 million active daily users in January of this year, and is loved by gamers and critics alike for its addictive gameplay. However, Riot Games has just announced that there is never going to be a League of Legends 2.
Speaking to Polygon, a company spokesperson revealed that a sequel to League of Legends will never be part of the studio’s plans. Brent Critchfield, senior environment artist at Riot, instead says that because of the online-only nature of the title, with no physical purchases ever expected to be released, the developer intends to focus on making more patches and updates to the hugely successful MOBA title. It could go on indefinitely, Critchfield says: “I want my great-grandchildren playing this game.”
It’s a bold statement to make, but Riot can feel very confident nonetheless. League of Legends' active daily user number had over doubled between October 2012 and January this year, a massive growth for a title which launched free-to-play in 2009 and has remained so ever since. The studio is also always thinking of ways to improve the title, such as April’s update to make the in-game bots act more like human players. Given the digital nature of League of Legends, the developers sees no reason why they should stop making it a better user experience.
The lack of a League of Legends sequel does not mean that Riot will refuse to work on other projects and IPs, however. At the moment, the developer is keeping quiet on what future games it has in store. Riot doesn’t have any pressure to release something new either, given the expansive player base that its first — and only — title still has.
Riot isn't at E3 this year. Although the developer has previously held booths at the expo, Riot has decided to miss out on the event entirely for 2014. The studio heads have their reasons, though: they claim that their player base doesn’t correspond with the E3 demographic, for one thing, and without a product to sell in the future they have no need for an event that helps promote upcoming hardware and titles. Riot is, however, expected to show at Gamescom — which holds League of Legends tournaments — later this year.
What do you make of this announcement? Is this a bold and honest step for a developer? Or would you like to see a single, huge jump in League of Legends rather than incremental updates? Let us know in the comments.