League of Legends by Riot games is one of the biggest Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games in the world. Over 7 million people have downloaded the game. How did Riot manage to create a game that has managed to grab the attention of so many players more than any other game?
First and foremost, League of Legends is a free to-play game, meaning you don’t have to pay single dime to play it. This is very significant; if a game is free to play, anyone can try it out. Back in 2010, when League of Legends was released, most of the popular games were pay-to-play games. You had to pay a monthly fee, or purchase regular updates in the form of downloadable content in order to play the game, but League of Legends was different. No cost made people ecstatic. This gave League of Legends a vast player base from the very beginning.
However, another factor in League of Legend’s popularity is its massive success as an eSport. League of Legends is huge in the eSports scene–bigger than other popular competitive games such as Starcraft, Overwatch, and Street Fighter. When the game was released, Riot worked hard to develop the eSports side of League of Legends and they succeeded. This is a large step right from the beginning, because if there are tournaments, there are going to be professional gaming teams with professional players. If people watch experienced players playing the game, they see how cool and fun the game can be. It also makes the game enjoyable even as a spectator sport rather than something you only play yourself. Fans follow the action on echannels and fan sites.
Professional sports creates a culture of celebrity, and that also helps to promote the games in general. For example, professional League of Legends player, “Faker” is top-ranked in the world. He has so many fans that I heard of him even before I ever played the game. In fact, I learned about League of Legends because of Faker’s popularity rather than the other way around When professional players and popular streamers begin to play a game they may have recently discovered, the popularity of the game can increase dramatically, which in turn will make people want to download the game and make the player base more knowledgeable.
Another factor contributing to the popularity of League of Legends is the customization options it features. You can buy champions, icons, emotes and skins. Skins completely change the feeling of the champion you are playing and are the undisputed best part of League of Legends. They can turn a champion that is blue, into green, change the sound effects or the skills of the champion and gradually evolve into something completely different and original. Some people cannot play a game without a skin. “One skin for each champ”, people say.
All games run the risk of eventually becoming boring and dull. Yet League of Legends has so far avoided that problem with frequent updates. Riot “patches” or updates League of Legends at least twice a month. This year, Riot has patched the game about 21 times. That’s a lot of times the game has been updated. Riot also frequently creates a large patch for older players to keep them on the edge of their seats for what might come. They also give much needed attention to newer players, with a variety of guides and videos on certain topics of the game. It is hard to become bored if the game is constantly changing to keep the game innovative, fresh, and interesting for new and old players alike to enjoy.
League of Legends is as popular as it is because of a combination of varying factors: its price, the simple game play, the growth of the game as an eSport, the customization options and the frequent updates. I personally enjoy playing this game because I appreciate the fact that they put so much effort into balancing and constantly updating the game to keep it fresh and engaging. These are the reasons how Riot managed to grab over the attention of 100 million people, and how it managed to maintain its popularity throughout the years. Why don’t you give the game a try?