Over the years Riot Games has made an effort to weave a tale explaining why exactly champions within League of Legends feel the need -and posses the ability- to fight each other across Summoner’s Rift. The story thus far revolves, or should I say revolved, around Champions from across the fictional world of Runeterra being brought to the League -either on their own or by being forced- in order to then be controlled by hooded puppet figures known as ‘Summoners’.
The story worked ok when the number of Champions was manageable, but according to a new blog post, as the roster grew to well over 100 Riot began to find issues with creating compelling reasons for why each new hero needed to join the League. As Riot put it:
“The net result was that over time the world started to feel, well, small, and eventually less interesting. The institutions we’d designed fostered creative stagnation, limiting the ways that champions, factions and Runeterra itself could grow and change. Furthermore, the very idea of all-powerful Summoners made Champions little more than puppets manipulated by godlike powers. The background we’d created to explain in-game action was ultimately restricting the potential narrative development of the game’s defining characters.”
From this, Riot gathered that the team needed to separate narrative from gameplay; forging two distinct paths for both without the need for the two to be one-to-one copies of each other. Riot was quick to point out this new direction for League’s lore doesn’t mean all of the original work would be tossed out. Instead, the developers would look to use that lore as inspiration for a more modern interpretation of the world of Runeterra. Heck, we might even see League branch out into entirely new mediums.
Towards the end of the post, Riot mentions exploring Runeterra through “various mediums, in chunks both large and small” and asks for the community’s input on what stories Riot should tell, and what parts of Runeterra players would like to see.
Using a bit of imagination, you could certainly picture League making a jump into other forms of media, and while none of this has been confirmed, having a story that’s easily followed and a fan base of more than 69 million monthly players means it would be that much easier to move the League universe into a brand new genre without alienating current League players. You only need to look at what Blizzard did with Warcraft to see the potential.