League of Legends: Wild Rift drove nearly 40M pre-registrations on Google Play
Riot Games launched League of Legends, a multiplayer online battle arena, for PCs in 2009. From there, League of Legends has grown to be one of the most played PC games and largest esports franchise, rivaling some of the largest traditional sporting events in terms of viewership.
The success of Riot Games has grown out of a belief that players deserve more. It is about creating an entertainment experience with games at its center, where players’ time, dedication, and love are valued. Their goal is to be the most player-focused company in the world.
What they did
As mobile technology evolved dramatically over the past few years, Riot Games realized there was great potential to bring League of Legends’ to the platform. In order to do this, their challenge was to create something that offered the same heart-racing team moments players got in League of Legends on PC.
They took the leap with League of Legends: Wild Rift. This game takes the essence of League of Legends and delivers a uniquely mobile experience. Bringing this to life meant rethinking and reengineering their champion’s abilities for a touchscreen interface.
It was essential for them to get user feedback, early and often. To start, Riot Games set up a pre-registration campaign on Google Play to keep players up-to-date about when the game would be available and this also provided Riot with a direct connection to their players through their mobile devices.
Building on pre-registration, Riot Games leveraged Play Console to involve users who pre-registered in testing. They started on a small-scale, with players in Brazil and the Philippines, then expanded to a closed beta test in Southeast Asia, with millions of players. During their critical development phase, Riot Games was able to test core game loops and player satisfaction, gaining reassurance that they were on the right track for a global launch.
At the end of the pre-registration campaign, League of Legends: Wild Rift had nearly 40M pre-registrations globally. This result helped Riot Games make critical business decisions. For example, looking at markets with high pre-registration rates allowed them to plan better for the infrastructure and server capacity needed at launch.
From this process, Riot Games learned not to be afraid to reimagine the League of Legends experience to make it feel native to mobile; the key was preserving the game’s essence. Ultimately, it was an opportunity to deepen engagement with existing fans and introduce their IP to an entirely new audience via mobile.