Riot Games has apologized for the Season 2023 cinematic, The Brink of Infinity, after fans were vocally disappointed by the sudden drop in production quality.
Riot Games has a tradition of releasing a cinematic trailer at the start of each year to hype up the incoming season of League of Legends. Since 2018, this has meant a high-production-quality trailer that focuses on champions from the game inside the fictional world of Runeterra.
This year, the cinematic was a slow and eventful flight through Summoner’s Rift, the map on which League of Legends takes place, without a single actual appearance from any champion in the game.
After significant fan backlash over the sudden drop in quality, Riot Games has apologized to the community for missing the mark.
Riot Games apologizes for Brink of Infinity cinematic
Fans have come to expect theatrical quality cinematics to start each season of League of Legends from the developer, but this year’s outing missed the mark substantially.
From “The Climb” to “The Call,” the League of Legends player base expects Riot Games to pull out all the stops to start a season. With League of Legends being the most popular video game in the world — and one without much opportunity for storytelling inside of matches — the expectation that the beginning of the year brings with it a gorgeously-rendered peek into Runeterra has become standard ever since 2018.
However, many recent changes to the games have left fans worried that the developer is turning away from its original title and focusing more on projects like Valorant, its upcoming fighting game Project L, and the League of Legends MMO. The “Brink of Infinity” cinematic seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back, with the community loudly making its displeasure with the cinematic known.
The response was so negative that Riot Games responded the very same day.
Riot Games took to social media the same day that the cinematic was published to apologize for the disappointing season start, noting that it wasn’t the “action-packed, champion-led trailer fans expected.”
In the statement, Riot Games said that unprecedented circumstances led them to take a different approach. In a Reddit comment, gameplay designer Riot Reav3 said that significant talent losses over the course of 2022 have made it harder for Riot Games to produce cinematics in exactly the same way as before.
But fans don’t seem to have taken either explanation particularly well.
Riot Games doubled down on its investment in League of Legends, trying to convince fans that it wasn’t leaving the massive MOBA behind for other goals, but to mixed results. In particular, recent changes to North America League of Legends professional play schedules, talent changes for that same circuit, a lack of announced events, and fewer Visual Gameplay Updates have left many League of Legends players worried that it is no longer the developer’s favorite child, so to speak.
Riot Games said that it was “committed to giving [the community] more details about what that investment looks like in the next couple of days,” but nothing has come from the developer just yet.
For now, the apology appears to have mostly fallen flat with everybody from highly-ranked players like Tyler1 to lore-focused content creators like Necrit. Only time will tell if Riot Games can win back the faith lost by recent decisions and the Brink of Infinity cinematic.