Mobile games aren’t all bad when you examine them, but the general consensus is that for every good game released there happen to be roughly three trillion freemium-loaded cash-grabs just waiting to gobble up the bank account of the nearest whale. Give or take. The last couple of years have seen some progress however, with the likes of 2018’s Florence proving that mobile devices can weave incredible stories while Apple Arcade has been a robust collection of solid games.
The stigma around mobile games won’t be dispelled with just that handful of examples though, a point made abundantly clear back when BlizzCon 2018 kicked off with the announcement of Diablo Immortal and saw the harshest of fan backlash thrown right back at the legendary developer. It’s a moment of infamy, and one that rival company Riot Games were terrified of repeating when they announced their own slate of games last year that just so happened to include a mobile project of their own.
“Early last year, there was some fear/concern at Riot about our plans to announce a number of mobile games and a card game. All the announcements ended up going really well,” communications lead on League of Legends Ryan Rigney tweeted, detailing the strategy that Riot used to not royally piss off their fans at last year’s tenth-anniversary event that saw the company reveal plenty of new projects.
There’s a whole lot more in that Twitter thread, but it makes for some surprisingly cunning reading. Riot’s main message was that of “we get you fam”, as they focused more on the gamer who would play their products rather than a cash cow waiting to be milked.
“Your core audience NEEDS to know you’re gonna take care of them,” Rigney tweeted.
So when you make something that’ll appeal to only one segment, consider bundling it with something that’ll delight the rest. That’s why we did all of these game announces alongside the League 10 year celebration.
The future looks good for Riot, as they’ve got a line-up of games that stretch across multiple genres and mediums, adding a few more ponies to a stable that housed only one lucrative horse for the last decade.
Last Updated: January 6, 2020