League of Legends Mobile: Riot Games and Tencent Developing a Mobile Version of the Popular MOBA

Many popular games have developed mobile games for players that want to have their favorite game on the go. But what about the most popular MOBA, League of Legends? While it is now only a desktop-based game, Riot Games and Tencent Holdings Ltd are working on a League of Legends mobile version – Reuters cites three sources that are in the know.

Although a few years ago Tencent proposed the mobile game version, Riot rejected it. It didn’t stop Tencent creating their own MOBA for mobiles in China, releasing it under the name “Honour of Kings.” Launched in November 2015, it soon had the biggest revenue among all multiplayer online battle arena games. In March 2019, it reached 140 million active monthly users.

Tencent launched another similar game called “Arena of Valor” for players overseas in 2016 and 2017 (but didn’t have the success HoK had).

Reuters cites that one source knows Tencent and Riot have been working together on a “League of Legends” for mobile for at more than a year, and a separate source says the game will not be launched in 2019. The project is confidential, and the sources didn’t want to give away their identity. Tencent’s spokesperson didn’t comment on these statements, and neither did the Riot representatives.

One of the sources said that even though all the three games are similarly designer and are MOBAS, League of Legends is far more popular:

“League of Legends is like the World Cup whereas Honour of Kings is just the Asia Cup.”

Having a mobile version of the League of Legends game is not so strange, considering we have the popular Fortnite, PUBG, and Call of Duty mobile versions. Plus, it would add a new way to monetize the game, since Riot only has a game which is not getting enough revenue compared to the previous years (revenue in 2018 was 21% lower than the previous year).

Moreover, a League of Legends game would draw more Asian players that prefer to use mobiles for gaming, compared to Western players that prefer consoles or desktops. Newzoo shows that while the U.S had 36% revenue from mobile games in 2018, China’s revenue reached 57%.

In April, Newzoo reported that 24.7% of the core PC gamers around the world play League of Legends.

As for international competitions, both Riot and Tencent would both profit, as they already have the Tengjing Sports venture to run e-sport tournaments and everything that is related to League of Legends.

Would you play League of Legends on your mobile phone? I don’t want to rain on Tencent’s parade, but I’d rather play League of Legends on my PC. Sorry, mobile games fans!

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