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League of Legends is currently celebrating its 10 year anniversary, and Riot Games had quite a lot of announcements to make about the future of the game as well as shed light on some “new projects” they’ve been working on. League of Legends is their biggest product in any case, and all other products share the same universe as the champions fighting on Summoner’s Rift.

A few noteworthy takeaways from the League of Legends anniversary announcements include:-

Teamfight Tactics port for Android and iOS announced 


Teamfight Tactics was made at a time auto-battlers were quite hyped. With DOTA Auto Chess making it big as a mod and the simultaneous announcement of a standalone version of Auto Chess by Drodo Entertainment (the developers of the mod), it was never a better time to get into the craze for auto-battlers. Teamfight Tactics used heroes from the same universe as League of Legends and provided the perfect auto-battler experience for people new to the franchise. Despite being the contender for one of the most played games in the auto-battler genre, there was one thing subtly lacking that other games had – a mobile port. Auto Chess and DOTA Underlords both have a mobile port, and there’s no reason Riot wouldn’t want it on mobile too. The announcement comes with the subtle quality of life changes to Teamfight Tactics, including a rotating pool of champions (called “seasonal sets”) so that the meta never gets stale. What absolutely can’t be missed out is the subtle sting at Blizzard through the use of the words “It turns out that you guys do have phones”. Teamfight Tactics releases on the Play Store and on the App Store in Q1 2020, and will have a beta in December this year. Teamfight Tactics will also support cross-play across all devices after release.

League of Legends: Wild Rift announced 


Apparently Teamfight Tactics isn’t the only game that will be embracing other platforms. A new version of League of Legends called League of Legends Wild Rift will be ported to both mobiles as well as consoles. The game features a dual-stick control scheme that makes targeting enemies with special abilities easier. The announcement mentions that Wild Rift is quite different from League of Legends in terms of the map, and regrettably, even the heroes and skins available for purchase. Even though the game had to be specifically built for keeping up with the weaker hardware, an almost full visual remaster can be expected when it releases. Wild Rift is expected to release in regions – one at a time – with a full release in all regions being expected by Q4 2020. For anyone who’s interested to test it out, a number of alphas and betas will be taking place starting in Q4 2019. Looks like Riot’s disagreement with their parent company in the past about a mobile port might have been in vain.

A new fighting game based on League of Legends is in the works 


Already revealed during EVO 2019, a new teaser about the new fighting game codenamed ‘Project L’ based on League Legends was dropped today during the Anniversary announcements. The game’s still in production, and the tease didn’t say much except that it was “difficult to make fighting games” because of their “intricate” nature. This was natural – everyone loves League of Legends, and it requires quite some work to get the same Runterran champions to fit into “a different camera angle”. The project is still confirmed to be in active development, and the tease ends with the request “not to expect more announcements” in the near future about the game. No release date has been mentioned, but considering the current stage of development, an early alpha can come late in 2020 (if it comes next year at all).

A brand new FPS game is in the works

Codenamed ‘Project A’, the game is Riot’s new take on the FPS genre. From the looks of it, Riot is using a team of industry veterans with an unimaginable amount of experience in the development of FPS games for working on Project A. The teaser showed a bit of gameplay with a few characters, with one that had the power to resurrect friends (totally not similar to Mercy from Overwatch). The announcement mentions that the game wants to stay true to the genre of tactical shooters while adding special powers that can be used by the characters in the game to gain an upper hand in combat. The team of veteran developers has been assembled to deal with problems like buggy netcode as well as an improved anti-cheat for dealing with hackers. A demo shown during the announcement does have quite a difference between the industry standard and the current netcode for the game, and the motion of characters was quite smooth as compared to the “industry standard”.

The anti-cheat also seems to actively check for use of external programs during the game, and stop it at once when any form of intrusion is detected. In the demo, this led to an error that banned the hacker and showed a message that the match had been canceled without counting as a win or loss for any of the players. If Project A manages to leave up to its promises, the game will definitely shine. Even throughout the technicalities mentioned in the video, one cannot miss the subtle jab at Valve, who has been accused of neglecting CSGO for years even though it had been one of the dominant games in the FPS market. No official release date has been announced – only a promise for more announcements about the game in 2020.

Legends of Runeterra, a brand new card game, has been announced 

No one expected a brand new card game as one of the possible new announcements on League of Legends’ anniversary. Legends of Runeterra is set in the same universe as League of Legends and has many familiar champions people can associate with. The game plays like a card game version of League of Legends, with alternating turns of attack and defense. The game has six main regions, with each region having cards with a distinct play style of their own. The announcement mentions the measures taken to make the game feel less pay-to-win while rewarding the players for their grind, including login rewards, leveling-up rewards, and rewards just for playing the game. The core gameplay seems familiar to Artifact, except that attack and defense turns alternates (instead of happening together like in Artifact).

Blizzard’s recent PR failure with Hearthstone might have prompted the reveal this early into development – allowing Riot to take the spotlight, at least for a while. The announcement has a very piercing jab against Team 5, the developers of Hearthstone when the Legends developers talk about “over-the-top RNG”, “metas that get solved way too fast” and “cards that stay broke way too long”. Team 5 have been lazy about game balance and guilty of printing too many cards involving RNG. (Hello Yogg Sauron!), and it seems that Riot had attacked the right competitor to make their product stick in the market. Legends of Runeterra is running a closed beta now, people can head here to pre-register for a chance to play the game.

Multiple teases of an RPG set in the League of Legends universe 

While there has not been a direct announcement about an RPG, multiple instances in the announcement video make it difficult to believe that such a game is not in active development. Development clips of Clockwerk in action on an unfamiliar cliff, killing enemies were seen throughout the video, and employees were heard talking about RPGs at multiple instances in the video, with the founders mentioning that they would love to have a Diablo-style RPG (the clips of gameplay seen does resemble a Diablo-style top-down RPG). Lack of a tease or even mention might mean that the product is only in a planning phase, and an announcement will take some time to come.

Arcane, an animated series about the League of Legends champions has been announced 

An official animated series about Runeterra and its lore have also been one of the pivots of discussion during the anniversary announcements. The universe had quite some lore which all League of Legends players enjoyed, so it makes sense to convert that love of League of Legends into something different – something that can reach out to the masses who aren’t interested in games. A lot of people love to watch series – may be double that of the people playing League (which itself is a humongous number in itself) and word of mouth spreads pretty fast. Riot wants to appeal to the mass market and draw them into League of Legends, which is a pretty interesting move, to say the least.

Riot has a myriad of products in development, and the variation honestly makes one wonder when one would get to hear about League of Legends styled lifestyle merchandise. Maybe even Ahri’s bathwater, but that might be overkill.

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