League of Legends co-founder Marc Merrill released a statement this week, addressing the claims about a Riot Games’ MMO game and while he stated there were talks about it in the company, he also explained there are a few roadblocks in the way of achieving that goal.
While a well-known company, Riot Games have been ridiculed for having released only one game in 13 years since the company's establishment, and while their only game title - League of Legends, has grown to be one of the most popular games in the world, there was still one question that needed an answer: Will Riot Games step out of their shell and release a new game title?
For years there were no definite answers to that question until Riot Games decided to drop a bombshell during League of Legends 10-year anniversary celebration earlier in October when they revealed that they are working on a handful of new projects. In the announcement, Riot Games unveiled they are developing a new digital card game named Legends of Runeterra, an FPS game, which is currently only known as "Project A", a fighting game which is simply known as "Project L", as well as a mobile game "The Wild Rift", which is an abridged version of its PC counterpart - League of Legends.
Suffice to say, the whole gaming community accepted the announcement with open arms and while the long list of projects might be slightly overwhelming for some, there were still masses of people who were waiting for one more thing, which has been a hot topic of discussion for years – a Riot Games’ MMORPG.
When asked about the possibility of a League of Legends-based MMO, Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent did not hesitate to add some more oil to the fire by stating "Do you really think that we have revealed everything?” which only fired up the fans to dig deeper in search of hints and leaked information which would confirm the development of the game.
During the anniversary, Riot Games also teased an RPG-style game which bears the working name "Project F". At first glance, the game seemed like it could become Riot Games' next MMORPG, but Merrill went on the record to say the teased game was is not an MMO, but rather a completely different genre, which again sparked speculations there might be something else in the works behind the.
Since then the rumours and speculations about Riot Games development of an MMORPG did not die out as fans were looking everywhere to find anything which would help them uncover the hidden Riot Games’ project.
The talk about the topic surfaced once again earlier this week when League of Legends co-founder Marc Merrill took an interview with Travis Gafford, where he went on the record to reveal that he and other developers at Riot had toyed with the idea of making an MMORPG over the past years in a build-up to the massive announcement made in October, but explained creating an MMO game is not as easy as it may seem.
“We would not do that kind of thing out of house. In order to do it justice, requires the best teams in the world, and that probably doesn’t even exist with a third-party developer,” said Merill.
He went on to add that such a project would cost the company US $100 millions from the get-go and it would take them a long time to even get into the highly competitive MMORPG market and possibly even years to become competitive with other MMO titles, such as World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Black Desert, Destiny 2, Final Fantasy and others.
“These things are incredibly hard to make, and anyone who has ever built an MMO deserves a medal. It’s like shipping a freaking rocket, it’s so much work, it’s so hard to do, and we would really try to do it justice, and that’s not easy.”
While the news might have left some MMO fans dishearted, this is not the end of the road for Riot Games and their possible entry into the MMORPG scene. Considering the huge success of their core franchise, which has been a titan in the MOBA scene for over 10 years now, we can rest assured Riot Games is here for the long haul which just might mean, we could one day bear witness to the announcement of a heavily anticipated Riot Games’ very own MMORPG. Besides that, with numerous new projects on the horizon, the fans will have more than enough activities to keep themselves busy while they wait for that announcement, be it two, five or ten years down the line.
As it stands now, both Project A (FPS) and Project L (fighting game) are set to be released in a few years, while the heavily anticipated Project F (RPG) has no set release date yet, though it's expected for at least one of the three new games to see the light of the day by 2022 or possibly even sooner.