Riot expected to expand the League of Legends universe into fighting games

Since Riot Games celebrated the 10th anniversary of its immensely popular game League of Legends in 2019, the developer vowed to greatly expand its content offerings beyond a single title. With Riot Forge working on narrative-driven titles, the release of mobile MOBA Wild Rift, strategy card game Legends of Runeterra, tactical shooter Valorant (which has taken the esports world by storm), an animated series called Arcane, and the new LoL-based MMO in development, the former one-trick pony now has many irons in the fire.

One of those will soon be a brand-new fighting game, “Project L,” based on the LoL universe. The fighting title was first announced during the Evo fighting tournament in 2019, and Evo co-founder Tom Cannon is assisting with design. The Evo tournament itself was recently acquired by Sony Interactive Entertainment. It’s highly likely that Riot’s “Project L” will become part of the Evo competitive scene at some point after its release, which would be another feather in Evo’s cap and further solidify PlayStation as the new home of fighting esports.

Riot revealed some early footage of “Project L” back in 2019 but has not provided new details in some time. The game appears to be designed with a similar style as Capcom’s popular Street Fighter V, which features full 3D graphics but with gameplay within a 2.5D plane. The footage showed popular LoL champions including Ahri, Darius, Katarina, and Jinx. Offering fans yet another way to engage with the LoL universe and its characters is a smart play for Riot, and it’s likely to encourage some cross-pollination in the LoL universe no matter what the entry point happens to be for new fans.

According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, LoL fans are especially interested in the fighting game genre. More than one-third of LoL fans in the US regularly play fighting games compared to just 19% of gamers overall. Given the massive audience of LoL worldwide (115 million monthly active users), Riot has a built-in advantage that other studios launching new games can only dream of.