League of Legends fans will be able to take the game on the go before long.
In the 10th anniversary edition of Riot Pls, the publisher revealed a slew of new games that they have in development. Included in this are a pair of mobile titles in Teamfight Tactics and a new League of Legends spin-off, Wild Rift.
Though the two titles will give almost every sort of gamer the opportunity to experience the League of Legends franchise, they are set to go in very different directions.
The previously teased League of Legends mobile title isn’t quite what players were expecting. Though rumors had circulated that the game was set to be true mobile port of the game, Riot instead revealed that League of Legends Wild Rift will be something of an adapted port that will be available to both console and mobile gamers.
Gameplay details were vague, but a four-minute trailer for the game that included extensive developer commentary gives fans an idea of what direction the game will go in.
“It’s taken us years. Way, way too long to do this,” developer Michael Chao sai. “But we had to get it right. We needed to figure out how to bring a true League experience to other platforms in a way that’s worthy of your love, your time, your investment. We think we’ve finally gotten there with Wild Rift and we’re thrilled to be able to share it with you now.”
Chao discussed how the standard League of Legends experience tends to be one that requires a commitment of both time and resources that many players simply aren’t able to make. On top of this, the steep learning curve is enough to scare away players to the point where it is difficult to wrangle friends or coworkers into the game.
To address this, Riot is functionally redesigning League of Legends in a way that more accessible on every level. The game will use a dual-stick control scheme that will fit onto modern consoles and mobile devices.
The game will still feature League of Legends’ signature five-on-five gameplay on Summoner’s Rift, but Chao also warned that Wild Rift will featured a stripped-down version of the game, at least to some degree.
“We’ll be straight with you, there are some downsides to the from-scratch approach we’ve taken,” Chao said. “We’re not going to have every single champion skin available on all platforms, and although you won’t get the same unlocks between League on PC and this version, you will get great rewards for the time you’ve spent with League over the last 10 years. But like I said we think these trade-offs are worth it.”
According to the official Wild Rift website, the game will only have around 40 champions at launch. More will arrive with time.
Firm release dates for League of Legends Wild Rift were not given. Chao stated that limited alpha and beta launches will arrive in 2019 but did not give specific dates. A full release might not be coming soon though, as Chao stated there are “plans to roll out on most platforms, in most regions globally by the end of 2020.”
The mysteries regarding Wild Rift don’t end there, unfortunately.
Chao did not specify what platforms Wild Rift will be available for. While it’s safe to expect iOS and Android versions of the game, it is unclear what consoles will be supported. It would certainly be nice to have Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch versions of the game, but it is uncertain how far along in development the game is and whether Riot would want to heavily invest in releasing them so close to the end of this console generation.
The autobattler genre is right at home on mobile platforms, as evidenced by Dota Auto Chess creator Drodo Studio leaving the original version of the game behind in order to create the standalone Auto Chess game on mobile. That fact isn’t lost on Riot, either.
The publisher announced standalone iOS and Android versions of Teamfight Tactics. While Wild Rift is more of a spin-off, Teamfight Tactics on mobile devices seems to be the standard PC experience shrunken down for phones and tablets. The developers revealed that the game will feature cross-platform play, allowing players to compete against against those playing on both mobile and PC.
The game will go into beta this December, with a proper launch following in “early 2020.” Of course, Riot does have something of a history of undershooting on release dates, so fans ought to just pencil this one in for now.