The League of Legends devs have apologized for a new trailer so bad it convinced some community members the game was dying.
In a post on Twitter last night, Riot Games addressed the cutscene backlash for this year’s new season. Every year, as LoL’s competitive mode restarts annually, Riot traditionally releases a trailer putting its characters front and center. My favorite is “Awaken” from 2019:
This year the video is The Brink of Infinity. Unlike the battle scenes that have dominated New Year’s Eve cutscenes in recent years, this year’s effort is a realistic take on the League of Legends map, Summoner’s Rift, complete with a voiceover from a child as the character. from the game Pantheon.
Unlike previous years, the video is fairly unimpressive, with players on Reddit (opens in a new tab) describing it as an Unreal Engine demo rather than a creative outpouring of one of the greatest games in the world. But beyond those individual complaints, some have highlighted broader concerns.
League of Legends has had a pretty lackluster year in 2022. Its traditional roster expansion has gone from six champions to five, with only one major overhaul of an existing character. The pre-season – often a time of significant change – has been muted, with one of its biggest “new” features the return of a neutral monster that had to be removed from the game last year. After Arcane in 2021, we had no follow-up, and many players noted that the flow of lore and storytelling in the game had dried up significantly.
All this against the backdrop of comments from Nicolo Laurent, CEO of developer Riot Games, announcing that the company’s 2023 budget is the largest it has ever been. That might be good news for League of Legends fans, but for the breadth of content the company is currently working on. It wasn’t too long ago that Riot only produced League of Legends, but now it’s making several other games in progress; Valorant, Wild Rift, Legends of Runeterra, and Teamfight Tactics all have dedicated teams behind them. It’s also making an MMO and a fighting game, developing a second series of Arcane, publishing indie games through Riot Forge, and likely has a lot more going on behind the scenes – all while trying to revamp many of its scenes. national and international sports.
This hive of activity coupled with what appears to be a shortage of content for its “bread and butter” track sent the community into what almost amounted to total panic. On Reddit, some joked on ways Riot could fill the apparent hole in its budget, while others asked if it was time to worry that the game was approaching its timeout period. Necrit, a YouTuber so known for his breakdown of gaming lore that he’s actually been immortalized in the LoL universe, posted a video in response to Brink of Infinity titled “League is ACTUALLY Dying.”
the whole league scene is in flames even the necrit has lost faith the silence of the riot is failing pray to god they say something soonJanuary 10, 2023
Riot took notice by posting a thread almost unprecedented in its transparency. While the company is relatively vocal about upcoming features, I don’t recall seeing such direct communication about a community uproar. The developer told fans that “unprecedented circumstances” led to an “alternative approach” for the 2023 season video and acknowledged that Brink of Infinity “led to further speculation about our investment in League.”
Honestly, we should have been more forthcoming, which might have helped with some of that sentiment and speculation. We believe League has a bright future and are investing in it, but we can do a better job of sharing those plans with you.January 10, 2023
The thread goes on to say “we should have been more communicative, which might have helped with some of that sentiment and speculation. We think League has a bright future and we’re investing in that.” More details on this investment should arrive “in the coming days”.
It will be interesting to see how Riot attempts to change the narrative. In reality, League of Legends itself looks pretty good to me, especially for a game approaching its 14th birthday in 2023. Fewer new releases isn’t good news, but the impact of the pandemic on game schedules production is still being felt, with the large number of AAA games coming out this year, a sign of the stalemate we’ve seen elsewhere in the industry over the past few years. League of Legends isn’t dying, but it’s clear that Riot has some work to do to convince fans that it still works.
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