[Update 3: OPPO clarifies] World’s most popular PC game, League of Legends, is reportedly coming to mobile
League of Legends is arguably one of the most prominent games for PC, with a player count of almost 120 million. Besides being among the most-played PvP titles for PC, League of Legends is also among the most popular MMO games adopted for eSports. The popularity has been evergrowing since 2009 when League of Legends (fondly called just League by patrons) was first published by Riot Games. Now, we can expect the figures to shoot through the roof as a mobile version of the game is reportedly being prepared by the Chinese internet giant Tencent.
Tencent, which owns 100% stakes in Riot Games since 2015, has reportedly been working together with the League of Legend developers for over a year now. As Riot’s founders have always insisted, the mobile version will not be an exact replica of the PC version. Instead, the familiar design of the game will be complemented with new characters. It is, however, not likely to be available this year.
Notably, Tencent has an adaptation of League of Legends called Wangzhe Rongyao (loosely translated to Honor of Kings) for smartphone gamers in China. It is one of the most popular and highest-grossing mobile games with almost 130 million players. Although Honor of Kings is limited to China, Tencent has also developed Arena of Valor on the same lines for other regions, but ironically, it has failed to gain the same momentum as its Chinese sibling. Perhaps, a namesake adaptation, just like PUBG and Fortnite (which were also ported to mobile platforms by Tencent), may help the company make a difference.
At the same time, the revenue generated by League of Legends has been falling due to competition and preference to titles like Fortnite and Overwatch for eSports. So, a mobile version could be a fruitful way for Tencent to revitalize earnings. For players, the new gameplay could be an altogether different experience, even though we’ll have to wait for the release to experience what it brings to the table.
Update 1: Riot Games has officially announced League of Legends: Wild Rift for mobile devices
Riot Games has officially announced and confirmed that League of Legends is coming to mobile devices in the form of a new version called Wild Rift. While the MOBA gameplay appears to be identical, the game has been apparently built from scratch to better accommodate the new platforms, including a twin-stick control scheme, a new map, and shorter 20-minute matches.
League of Legends: Wild Rift will be launching in 2020. Pre-registrations for the game are open through the Google Play Store.
Via: The Verge
Update 2: First on OPPO
It appears that League of Legends Mobile will be coming to Android first on OPPO devices. In a press release, OPPO had the following to say about their relationship with Riot Games:
OPPO and Riot Games recently established a partnership that promises many innovative developments to mobile gaming and esports down the line. The partnership marks OPPO’s entry into the exciting world of esports, and OPPO will be the first official global smartphone partner for the world’s most popular PC esport – League of Legends.
The bolded part (emphasis our own) certainly sounds like OPPO will be the first to get League of Legends on their devices. We’ll have to wait and see when that happens and how long the exclusive period lasts.
Update 3: OPPO clarifies its relationship with Riot Games and League of Legends
After we published our story, OPPO reached out to us with clarifications on the conclusions reached in our story. OPPO is the first official global smartphone partner for League of Legends – a statement that did not mean that League of Legends will first arrive on OPPO smartphones, but was in the context of esports only for now.