It turns out that Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street wasn’t just blowing hot air two months ago when he said Riot Games was working on a League of Legends MMORPG. There isn’t anything officially official like a press release or website for the prospective title, but Riot’s now hiring for the project, which it unambiguously calls “an MMORPG based in the League universe.”
The “MMO Recruting” page on the Riot website doesn’t have any specific openings listed that you can directly apply for but does mention a few broad proficiencies, such as Gameplay Engineering, Game Design, UX Design, Game Art, and Game Production. Understandably, Riot is looking for “developers who have direct experience on MMOs — but it’s not required for every role.” All are encouraged to submit their info via this link, and “if a role opens up that fits your background and experience, we may reach out and encourage you to apply!”
So now that it’s undeniably official, let’s do some speculating: When do you think the League of Legends MMORPG will launch? Since Riot is in the initial stages of bringing people on to the project, that means it’s going to be at least a few years. Based on how other games have come along, I’d say it takes at least four or five years to release a full-fledged, AAA MMORPG, which is almost certainly what Riot is aiming for.
That would put the release window in 2025 at the earliest, and maybe not even that soon if there’s comprehensive beta testing or if something goes wrong. I’m going to go ahead and make a long-term prediction and say that the League of Legends MMORPG will launch in 2026 — by which time 17-year-old League itself will almost be a legal adult. Hopefully, the pandemic will be just a memory by then, too. If it’s not, well, I’ll look back on this post in five years and cringe at my childish naivete.