All things come and go and most usually don’t last too long. Well, when we’re speaking about trends. Cars last pretty long, and so do ships (but that’s not the topic here). Trends. Video games are, in a sense, considered trends. They pop up in the market, you see the game and are interested, complete it or play it until boredom ensues, and that’s it.
It’s a rather temporary experience and some would argue, a complete waste of money. I for one, don’t agree with this sentiment mainly because the argument itself is very flawed. You pay money to go watch a movie in the cinema, right? Well, the same can be applied here. You’re paying money for a game that has its end.
Mind you, I’m not saying that all games are reasonably priced (looking at you EA!). I’m just saying that they function similarly and they are usually worth the investment. With that said, why do some games, such as League of Legends in this example, last longer without losing too much of its player base? The answer lies in eSports and how people playing eSports games professionally shape the entire environment. In this article, we’ll be unraveling the mysteries of League of Legends popularity.
The Magic Formula
Games can be successful just because the art style is amazing whilst even the greatest looking games sometimes fail. There are no exact criteria which we follow when we talk about ranking games. If it’s good – you’ll know. If it isn’t, well, you’ll want to put it down as soon as possible.
However, there’s a certain formula which keeps a game relevant for more years than others and it has something to do with the approach.
In the case of LoL itself, the game started out small. The first official tournament had a meager prize pool (compared to now), not a lot of people were playing, and it was filled with bugs and weird interactions. But, as time went by, the game just kept getting better and better. Riot Games expanded its team and opened a couple more offices and this all had the effect of projecting LoL to the skies. There’s no doubt in my mind that it will stay relevant for more years to come. So, what did Riot do good?
The graphical style is quirky but good-looking. Although, back then, you could see the effort being done. The graphics weren’t quite as important as the gameplay, which is where League of Legends popularity excels at. The team fights, champions, objectives, map – all of these elements made one whole.
People joined not because the game looked good, but because their friends told them there’s an outstanding new game on the block (at least that’s my experience). Of course, there were those who saw the trailers, looked the game up on Youtube and such, but the point of this is that League of Legends popularity didn’t come just by looks or fancy character models; it attracted players with how much fun and enjoyment it brought to the people playing it.
You can argue about the current state of the game and say that it just isn’t enjoyable anymore, but again, this is a matter for another time.
If you’ve been playing LoL for at least a year, you’ve already experienced some gameplay changes which were either good in your opinion, or bad. However, it’s worth noting that updates and patches which Riot pump out on a constant basis are just as important to the game’s relevancy as is the design.
See, a game such as League of Legends (MOBA) generally has a single set of maps. There are different champions whose roster constantly increases. The thing is, putting new champions into the game isn’t easy and it lasts some time. Because of this, the game can get stale fast without proper support.
This is why making slight gameplay changes tips the scales and forces players to choose a different playstyle. In a way, they learn the game again. Patches are necessary to iron out bugs, but yeah, that’s the gist of it.
League of Legends popularity is still receiving constant care and attention from Riot Games and some would say that they’re at their most productive period. It’s nice seeing a company dedicated to keeping their product alive, even if some of that work isn’t good. Game changes will continue to exist. Some will ruin the feel of the game for one side of the player base, while the other will enjoy it.
So, to answer the main question of this article – LoL is still popular because it is a creative rendition of a fun time. A game where you go up against 5 enemies with your team with massive replayability. And the more content they keep putting into the game, the longer it will live in our world, the eSports betting world, and the competitive scene!