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League of Legends MMO update: Reset of direction and big delay

We’ll be gray before seeing this one
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Marc Merrill, one of the co-founders of Riot Games, had some difficult news to share for people who are looking forward to the League of Legends MMO the studio has been working on for a few years now – though development of the project continues, there has been a hard reset.

“We know many of you are hungry for news about the Riot Games MMO project, and we really appreciate your patience and the incredible support you've shown us so far,” Merrill wrote. “I’m writing to update you today on where we’re at. And before anyone panics: yes, we are still working on the game.”

“After a lot of reflection and discussion, we've decided to reset the direction of the project some time ago. This decision wasn't easy, but it was necessary. The initial vision just wasn’t different enough from what you can play today,” he explained.

Logo of Riot Games on a red background.

Riot Games' MMO set in Runeterra will need a lot more time in the oven.

Merrill stated that the team didn’t simply want to put “a Runeterra coat of paint” on “an MMO that you’ve played before” and instead wants “to truly do justice to the potential of Runeterra and to meet the incredibly high expectations of players around the world.”

However, this requires “something that truly feels like a significant evolution of the genre.” Stating the obvious, Merrill called this “a huge challenge,” but emphasized the motivation and passion of the team to go through with it.

Along with this reset, some personnel changes appear to have been made. Fabrice Condominas – previously at BioWare – has been named as the new executive producer of the game. Former executive producer Vijay Thakkar has moved into the role of technical director. Merrill explained that the groundwork for this pivot has been laid throughout the previous year, but that such a massive reset “also means we will be ‘going dark’ for a long time – likely several years.”

“This silence will help provide space for the team to focus on the incredible amount of work ahead of them. We understand the excitement and anticipation that surrounds new information, but we ask for your trust during this silent phase. Remember, 'no news is good news,' as it means we're hard at work, pouring our hearts and souls into making something that we hope you’ll love,” Merrill concluded.

Riot Games laid off 530 employees at the start of the year and ended its indie publishing label, Riot Forge. It also announced that active investment into its collectible card game, Legends of Runeterra, would be lowered. Games in development seemed to be unaffected by the cuts.