League of Legends has risen to become a major force in PC gaming since it luanched way back in 2009. Now, the wildly popular MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game may be making the move to mobile devices sometime in the near future. In an exclusive report supported by three sources, Reuters has revealed that Tencent Holdings and Riot Games are working together to develop a mobile version of League of Legends.
Tencent has its hands in so many different pots across gaming and has already helped to establish a major mobile MOBA game. Arena of Valor is the international version of Wangzhe Rongyao, the Chinese mobile MOBA developed and published by Tencent. It’s available on iOS, Android, and the Nintendo Switch. The highly successful game, also known as Honour of Kings, has reached more than 140 million active monthly users as of March 2019.
The sources state that Tencent had attempted to make a similar move with Riot Games years ago, but Riot rejected the idea at that time. Honour of Kings was then created and went on to become the world’s highest-grossing MOBA after launching in 2015. If Tencent proceeds with this plan, it would essentially be double-dipping into a market it already dominates, considering how the company owns Riot Games and both developed and published Honour of Kings. Nevertheless, there’s an opportunity to draw in PC gamers who would like to play a familiar MOBA on the go and mobile players who weren’t fond of the characters presented in Arena of Valor.
This mobile version of League of Legends is not guaranteed to be released, and it isn’t clear how far along the game is in terms of development. A mobile version of League will draw in interest based simply on the vast popularity of the original game, but it is a different beast to tame. Switching to a mobile format, the League of Legends formula would have to be fine-tuned for shorter play sessions. It will also take some new and engaging options to pull players away from Arena of Valor and other popular mobile MOBA titles in order to make the investment worthwhile.