League of Legends company Riot Games announced a new publishing label, Riot Forge. It will publish games by external indie studios that “create bespoke ‘completable’ League of Legends games.”
The publisher will expand the franchise that currently consists of League of Legends itself, Teamfight Tactics, and Legends of Runeterra.
Third-party studios can count on support in QA, localization, voiceovers, research, and marketing. One new project is already in the making and will be revealed at The Game Awards next week. Other indie studios are encouraged to step forward for potential collaboration.
Riot’s current games, both League of Legends and the new games we recently announced, are live games-as-a-service titles that require large teams to support and maintain. Folks at Riot came up with the idea years ago that if we wanted to add single-player games to our portfolio, that we would want to develop those differently, with a far smaller resource allocation on the Riot side.
Greg Street, vice president of IP and entertainment at Riot Games, via PCGamesN
Prior to launching a publishing label within Riot Games, the company considered co-developing new single-player games with outside studios. The idea was scrapped, however, as Riot devs felt like this was restrictive for their partners in terms of creative freedom. Plus, Riot’s expertise in making live services would not necessarily translate very well into creating completable experiences. Still, Riot Games intends to work closely with outside studios to make sure their titles become part of the League of Legends canon.
With Riot Forge, the company hopes to introduce the League IP to gamers who do not play MOBA titles. Future Forge games will be high-quality indie titles representing a diversity of genres.
As far as Riot Games itself, the developer is working on several games internally right now: a tactical shooter, a fighting game, and an ARPG in the vein of Diablo. At least one of them will not be set in the League of Legends universe of Runeterra.