With more than 27 million daily active players, it comes as no surprise to most that League of Legends from Riots Games has achieved commercial success. It seems the popular multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game is now close to reaching the $1 billion mark in revenue.
League of Legends is a free-to-play PC video game that earns most of its profits through micro-transactions, which are usually between $2 and $10 each. These extra charges are optional, although they are important to Riot’s business plan. The in-game transactions do not provide an in-game advantage but rather present a more rewarding experience to players.
While countless free-to-play games have been released only to disappear, LoL has managed to hold gamers’ attention for years, according to the New York Times. Since its release in 2009, the game has become popular around the world.
[quote text_size=”small” author=”– Marc Merrill” author_title=”Riot Games co-founder and president”]
People told us when we started that if you don’t charge up front, or if you are not selling extra power or stats, it won’t work. But that fails to account for the coolness factor.
Merrill and co-founder, Brandon Beck, said they wanted to create a game company that listened to and cared about players, USA Today reported.
League of Legends has become so popular that fans even assemble at arenas to watch tournaments on large video screens, as with any other major sporting event. The finals are set to take place on October 19 in Seoul, South Korea, with an estimated 40,000 fans in attendance. The professional player who wins will be awarded the coveted Summoner’s cup, which is so large it requires five people to lift. The organizer of the tournament is also offering a $1 million cash prize to the winner.
While admission is charged for the tournament itself, with ticket prices ranging from $15 to $50 USD, the tournament runs on a deficit, although Riot Games co-founder and president, Marc Merrill, said the purpose of the tournaments is to serve as marketing to draw in new players and encourage participation.
Game play involves players on opposing sides beginning with weak characters or heroes on separate bases. As the game progresses, players attempt to kill characters belonging to the other team to gain resources and strengthen their own characters. A team wins the game when it eliminates the opponent’s base.