Saturday, November 15, 2014

LEAGUE OF LEGENDS Insane?! Maybe...Maybe not!


Malphite art by Papillon Studio

Revenue is second, the player experience is first!

League of Legends (LoL) is a multiplayer online battle arena video game developed and published by Riot Games for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X,inspired by the mod Defense of the Ancients (DoTA) for the video game Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne. It is a free-to-play game, supported by micro-transactions. The game was first announced on October 7, 2008, and released on October 27, 2009.League of Legends was generally well received at release, and has grown in popularity in the years since. According to a 2012 Forbes article, League of Legends was the most played PC game in North America and Europe in terms of the number of hours played.


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Gamasutra note : As of 2013, League of Legends had earned: 70 million registrations since 2009, 32 million [monthly active users], 12 million [daily active users], 3 million [peak concurrent users], $1.32 [average revenue per user] and $6.24 million in revenues. The average revenue per paying user on popular games is about $35.
As of January 2014, over 67 million people play League of Legends per month, 27 million per day, and over 7.5 million concurrently during peak hours 


With 67 million active monthly players around the world, and in August alone this crowd spent $122 million, according to SuperData, has more than eight times the number of active players as Dota 2, its closest rival in the genre known as multiplayer online battle arena. 




LoL, by an objective measure, is the largest multiplayer online battle arena video game in the world. Period.


But with that 'gigantic' and 'monstrous' base of players, and those players log into the game often, is Riot Games will receive 'gigantic' and 'monstrous' revenue too? 

Vi Art by Papillon Studio
Well, that's interesting folks...Because they had unique 'philosophy' that makes their fellow competitor and monetization specialists shaking their head.

'Revenue is second, the player experience is first' is a mantra in Riot Games said Joost van Dreunen, chief executive of SuperData.




Maybe we can trace it in the past of their founders, Marc Merrill (Co-Founder) and Brandon Beck (Co-Founder  & Chief Executive Riot Games) as teenagers.

Both were fans of online, text-based versions of Dungeons & Dragons, and both monopolized the phone lines in their homes back in the dial-up days of the Internet. As game graphics improved, the two moved on to so-called real-time strategy games like Starcraft and Warcraft II. Other games required expensive consoles like Xbox or PlayStation, and in many cases developers had little incentive to fine-tune or expand these games after an initial run of sales. That’s because they made money by offering a $60 sequel on disc or, in other cases, through subscriptions.
Graves Art by Papillon Studio

They dissappointed because when development teams would rush in to build the next game and neglect communities that were staying engaged with their game well after it launched. 
Brandon  Beck said. “We wanted a company that paid attention to players like us who wanted to play competitively and cooperatively.”

So, LoL born with different concept, different model, and different system in monetization.

They don't wont to milking their devoted players.

As Marc Merril said : “People told us when we started that if you don’t charge up front, or if you’re not selling extra power or stats, it won’t work...”
“...but that fails to account for the coolness factor. If you’re really into cars, you don’t mind spending $50,000 to soup up your Honda. That’s the player we’re tapping into.”

Blitzcrank X Zed art by Papillonstudio
Here's what monetization specialists miss, and why money people tend to be tone-deaf in their arguments to make games less fun for more money: Riot has successfully taken a free-to-play game to the top of every chart in the business, and they've kept the game growing in a time frame that can be measured in years, not months. The company is thriving and flush with cash, and it seems to have created a sustainable business model.

Yes, the system makes LoL still fun, feel free for the players but not that 'free' though :)

Riot collects money when players spend small sums — in the range of $2 to $7.50 — to acquire champions that they control during the game. They can also buy “skins,” which are modifications to those champions.

So, no wonder with their 'uncommon' monetization, LoL will be one of the very few games to bring in $1 billion in 2014!


Source : Wikipedia, The New York Times (David Segal), Polygon (Ben Kuchera).
Hints : Click the image caption to see the larger version! 

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