Riot Games, more than a MOBA game company
What usually comes into people’s minds when they say ‘Riot games’ would be ‘League of legends’ isn’t it? That MOBA, 3-lane game with colorful, iconic characters like Jinx, Teemo, or the most popular disease among gamers society, Yasuo. With the community who keeps saying they hate their game and then go for one more match, again (I know, because I do, too, hehe.).
However, as time has passed over 20 years after the game has opened around the world, including Thailand of course, Riot games did not only focus on the ‘League of Legends’ game alone. But they have been expanding the champions, stories, and the universe in the way many people have never think a single game company would do. There is a saying (or a meme) on the internet that Riot games use the word “games” to cover themselves up, “games” are their second priority. Because their company could be something else, for example.
A Music company.
For the past few years, Riot Games has made collaborations with well-known artists like (G)I-DLE, Imagine Dragons, Zedd, etc. And came up with pieces of artwork throughout many years. It all started from the 2014 world championship with Imagine dragons, “Warriors” A music video promoting their league, which later got huge positive feedback (literally hyped) from the audience.
The song industry path for riot is considerably just a start. As they have continued collaborating and producing more songs for every year of the league, with songs like “Ignite” in worlds 2015 by Zedd, a well-known DJ at the time, or “Legends never die” for Worlds 2017. Although these songs have enough quality, people were starting to get used to the culture of ‘Riot releasing 1 song every time there is a world championship’, and this is the part where it gets interesting. In August 2017, Riot Games has released a new single “Mortal reminder” from a brand-new virtual metal band called “Pentakill” out of the blue. Even though the initial purpose of the band is to promote the new skins series for their playable champions/character, league players are hyped for the band for the reason that they; first of all, Riot games have never done something like this. Second of all, there was a very low number of a virtual band genre at the time, hence, Pentakill doubtless has its own limelight spotted on them.
Even though there is technically one person (a champion to be exact) in the league of legends who could be considered as a virtual artist before this band, she was not known as an artist, but more likely to be known as a piece of promoting music for the game instead, the song is “Get Jinxed – Jinx | League of legend” which was released 4 years before Pentakill has debuted.
After setting a high bar in 2017, Riot fans were hoping for new songs from Riot and the band Pentakill as well on worlds 2018. However, the event at the time was held in South Korea which considerably might not be a suitable target audience base for a metal band, So people were not setting their expectations for the song that much. After this is the part where people start to think “But wait a minute, South Korea, they have their own genre, maybe there might be-“
K/DA HAS DEBUTED
‘Exceeding expectations’ Riot once said to league players. At this time, they clearly showed the sentence in a form of a K-pop girl group with a song called “POP/STARS” starring Akai, Ahri, Kai’Sa, and Evelyn. Champions from the league of legends once again breaking the fourth wall and came to our world. Collaborating with an actual girl group (G)-IDLE to be the Korean pop at its finest.
The internet went crazy over this new release, not only the league players themselves, but they have caught the attention of the K-pop market, and gamers in general as well. Due to their charming characters, catchy songs, and iconic music video, making these girls equal as one of a well-known K-pop group even though it is their first song. Killing two birds with one stone it is.
The very next year of Worlds championship 2019, Riot seems to have the fun of them releasing a new band and songs for every country they have held. At this time, France got their song, and a new debut, too. Introducing ‘True damage’ with their one and only song “GIANTS”, with Ekko, Qiyana, Senna, Yasuo, and Akali (Once again, yes).
True damage got their positive feedback and reputation as they should, unfortunately, many people on the comments still criticize them for forgetting their old groups like K/DA or Pentakill as mentioned earlier. And that feedback might somehow spark on the riot team. Because in 2020, Riot, once again, exceeding our expectation by releasing a new character Seraphine, a mysterious virtual character on Twitter @seradotwav which later revealed to have a connection with Riot games. While she was releasing her songs on the internet. There was also a cover of POP/STAR by K/DA, that cover made people start to guess that this might be a new artist for World’s championship 2020
And then, she posted this.
This was a vivid confirmation that Seraphine would be working on a ‘new song’ with K/DA (or at least Ahri) as far as they know at the time. Not too long to wait, Riot had officially announced a comeback for K/DA, a collaboration between Seraphine and K/DA, and a WHOLE NEW ALBUM.
At this point, it would be a huge success, and might be enough. But no, they do not stop there.
Riot Games did not think only just providing the game for players without knowing who the characters are. They also add value to each of the champions with their tales. Whether it is novel, comic, or animation, Riot has done it all. And they are undeniably one of the good storytellers among game companies. The story has set in a world called Runeterra where there are wars, conflict, and harmony at the same time.
It may take days to tell a story that they have created so far. However, the story can be read for free on their official website.
And the animations on their official YouTube channel. To add this up, Riot games also had announced their very first series on Netflix called “Arcane” coming soon.
There is also one thing Riot games is good at, and some part of the internet also view them as
An Event manager
As it is known that Riot held the League of Legends worlds championship once every year. They tried to bring new performances to the audience every time. Take a look at the example of worlds 2014 where they have invited Imagine dragons to perform their concert in the event with a very iconic song “Warrior”.
Their performance was enough to impress the audience, yet they went further on 2017 with a song Legends never die, alongside a dragon. Yes. A dragon. On an opening ceremony
Riot Games still continue following the concept of bringing the game to real life, On 2018 with K/DA:
2019 with True Damage:
And recently on 2020 with the comeback of K/DA – ALL OUT:
Even though there are many obstacles, like COVID-19, the Riot game still managed to perform well, or so they thought.
(Just kidding, we love you RIto)
Lastly, a role to sum up Riot games.
A universe creator.
No doubt, Riot games have created not the only league of legends game, but they also produce quality-rich lore for the player to enhance the relationship of the player with the champions, to get to know more about the story, what they have been through, really make the players felt connected to the champion as if they were friends. Or music, bands, and identity with recognizable and iconic characters, KDA, Pentakill, and True damage.
They also create various genres of games, Legends of Runeterra, a card game with characters from the same universe. Team fight tactics, a strategy game, and many upcoming games. like Ruined king, an RPG game taking place in shadow isle, an island in Runeterra that takes a big role in the lore. They also created Valorant, which is an FPS shooting game set in a whole new universe. Although there is not much of a story in this universe yet, Riot games has worked their job on releasing a bit of them time to time for the audience to take a guess. I, personally think the story in the Valorant universe will be as interesting as the Runeterra world.