Two years ago, Riot Games co-founder Marc Merrill teased League of Legends fans by asking “Should we build a MMO? Yay or nay?” It was later clarified that Merrill was just “being playful” and totally wasn’t serious. And when Riot announced a bunch of new titles last year, finally moving past just its singular MOBA sensation, an MMO wasn’t among them.

But all that changed earlier this evening, when Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street posted the following on Twitter:

Well, that could be an MMO, especially given his use of the word “massive,” but he didn’t directly say it, right?

NEVER MIND. Merry early Christmas, League fans!

Street is well-known for his prior role working at Blizzard as the lead systems designer of World of Warcraft, so Riot could hardly have chosen someone more experienced to lead this project. He doesn’t specifically say he’s in a design role, only that he’s going to “kick off” the project, and his current title, according to his Twitter bio, is “VP of IP and Entertainment.” Still, his influence and background will likely be a major factor in how the League of Legends MMO — which just sounds weird to say — takes form. (Hint: It will probably include raiding.)

A few things worth noting: one, we don’t know if the game will be free-to-play or not, and I think it could swing either way. On the one hand, everything Riot has done so far has been F2P, but on the other, a few very big MMO titles — most notably the one run by Street’s old employer — still charge an entrance fee. In general, only big games can go that route and be successful, and a League of Legends MMO would certainly seem to qualify.

Also, Street only uses the letters “MMO” and not “RPG.” This might just be a convenience or habit for him, and I think he’d be eviscerated for teasing fans with a misleading announcement, but there’s at least the possibility that this isn’t a true MMORPG but some other kind of multiplayer online game. Since Riot’s already got a League of Legends MOBA, card game, and upcoming fighting game, I don’t know what that could be, but you never know.

Even being the skeptic that I usually am about such things, I think Street’s being on the level here and this is an actual announcement of a League of Legends MMORPG. It’s likely going to be a big deal, and might become the first AAA MMORPG we’ve seen in some time. I’m not a fan of League, or any of Riot’s other games, but even I’m looking forward to seeing what the company can do.

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