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Riot Games Reports Monthly Player Count of 180 Million in its League-Based Games

Abhimannu Das
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Highlights
League of Legends and its spinoff titles have achieved a player count of 180 million according to Riot Games.
Riot will continue to release more League-based titles with an unnamed fighting game in the works as well as the publisher's first-ever single-player title 'Ruined King.'
The publisher is also releasing its first ever TV series 'Arcane' later this month.

Riot Games revealed that the number of monthly players in its League of Legends titles has hit 180 million in October 2021, which is an all-time record for the publisher. The games include League of Legends and its spinoffs - Wild Rift, Legends of Runeterra and Teamfight Tactics. The number does not include Valorant’s playerbase. More games set in the same universe are also in the works, which will most probably drive up the player count even higher.

The publisher’s only entry in the gaming and esports market was League of Legends until it decided to introduce multiple titles in the last two years. The additional titles have helped the company expand its reach to multiple genres.

How Riot Games expanded the League of Legends universe

League of Legends released 12 years ago on 27th October 2009 and it was Riot's only title in the market for several years. The game has expansive lore set in the fictional universe of Runeterra, which Riot has built for over a decade. It made perfect sense for Riot to expand the Runeterra universe beyond League of Legends.

It led to the release of Teamfight Tactics (TFT) in 2019 which cashed in on the auto-battler craze at the time and it has remained a popular title ever since. While most other auto-battlers have died out, TFT continues to be popular with Riot hosting the TFT Reckoning World Championship last month.

Legends of Runeterra was Riot’s first entry into the card game space, and it broke into the market as a free-to-play title with more focus on cosmetic microtransactions instead of traditional “booster pack” mechanics. Riot has implemented a tournament system that is completely playable in-game. The tournament system boasts seasonal events featuring separate prize pools for every region. Legends of Runeterra also had its first world championship earlier this year.

The most recent title to came forth from the Runeterra universe is of course, League of Legends: Wild Rift. It is a spinoff mobile-only version of League of Legends that has become a phenomenon in Southeast Asia. Riot has promised “world-class tournaments where local talent can compete against other regional teams.” The end goal of the publisher in Southeast Asia is to create a sustainable environment for professional teams and talent to thrive.

The future of the Runeterra universe

Riot is working on an untitled fighting game based in the League of Legends universe which does not have a release date as of yet. Considering Riot Games’ success with Valorant and how popular it became within a year of its release, the upcoming fighting game may finally popularize fighting games beyond Japan and USA, the two biggest regions in the fighting game community (FGC).

The publisher has a single-player game called Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, which is slated for release later in 2021. Beyond gaming, Riot is also breaking into mainstream entertainment with the launch of its first TV series titled ‘Arcane.’ set to release on 6th Nov 2021 through Netflix.

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Abhimannu is a part of the content team at AFK Gaming and a lifelong obsessive gamer. He currently covers esports titles like VALORANT, CS: GO, Call of Duty, Fortnite, PUBG and more.