June 28th, 2011
Released in 2009, the free-to-play League of Legends has quietly become one of the hottest PC games out right now. To get a quick update on all things champions, we reached out to Steve Mescon, community relations manager at Riot Games this week. Here's what he had to say:
Alienware Arena: League of Legends has gained a reputation for being constantly updated. Explain yourself!
Steve Mescon: League of Legends was designed from day one to be a constantly evolving experience that offers our players a never-ending stream of new content - we think of it less as a game that is launched and more of a service we provide that's fun and exciting. One of the reasons players love our game is that we’re always giving them something new – the introduction of a new champion every two weeks, along with consistent design improvements and balance changes keep the game fresh and exciting. We’ve got a ton of bigger updates in store, too, and we can’t wait to share more!
Some have criticized the game for its lack of maps. How have you addressed those concerns?
As you noted, we’ve released a ton of new content for League of Legends – in the form of new champions every two weeks, new features like Battle Training, Co-op vs. AI, the Tribunal, and our upcoming Spectator Mode. We’ve also introduced the Twisted Treeline, our 3v3 map.
Even with one 5v5 map, we consistently evolve and improve the game experience every time we add a new Champion or balance change. Chess has a single play field, too, but look how intricate that game is.
We know the community is really excited about the prospect of new maps to change things up a bit, but we want to take care to make sure any new map is fun, polished and balanced – and we’d prefer to offer a map that is a complementary experience to Summoner’s Rift, and not something that necessarily outright replaces it.
How will the upcoming spectator mode improve the game?
We believe that League of Legends is truly a joy to spectate, and we wanted to harness that joy and multiply it. Other games have had observer modes – we wanted to deliver something that provided a superior spectating experience and really set the bar for the eSports community. The Spectator features have helped us deliver better commentary and coverage - which leads to players being able to learn more from watching others play. At its highest potential - the new feature is going to raise the level of play in League of Legends.
We unveiled it this past weekend at our Season One Championship at Dreamhack, and we’re excited to bring it to our players soon. We had multiple peaks of over 200,000 simultaneous viewers, and the community reaction has been stellar!
What's next for LoL and Riot Games in general?
Editor's note: This is the part where Steve says something without really saying anything :) -- The second half of 2011 is going to be packed. We’ve got some top-secret stuff we aren’t quite ready to talk about today, as much as we’d like to! We have some exciting plans coming from our Champion team – expect more awesome new game mechanics with upcoming champions (like we’ve seen with Orianna and Yorick), more innovative features like the Tribunal, and some other stuff we’re really excited about.
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