League of Legends mobile reportedly in development

A report has surfaced that Riot Games and Tencent are working on a League of Legends mobile port. Tencent has supposedly been at work on the port some time now, but won’t be releasing it in 2019.

According to Reuters sources, Tencent Holdings, who owns a majority stake in Riot Games, has been working on the game for over a year now. More interesting however is that this isn’t the first time that the company has attempted a mobile version of League.

One of the sources states that Tencent originally proposed a mobile version of League of Legends years ago. However, the two parties couldn’t agree on how to move forward with it, straining their relationship.

Since then, other developers have capitalized on the market for mobile MOBAs, such as Moontoon with Mobile Legends. Tencent also released its own mobile MOBA Honour of Kings, known outside China as Arena of Valor. However, this hasn’t taken off with gamers, especially those in the West, the same way that League of Legends has.

One of Reuters’ sources point out that people still see League of Legends as the biggest MOBA brand. “League of Legends is like the World Cup whereas Honour of Kings is just the Asia Cup.” Despite this however, League of Legends‘ revenue has seen a decline. Data provider Statista, who Reuters quotes, shows that its 2018 revenues saw a 21% decrease from the previous year.

With this in mind, a League of Legends mobile port could be one way for Riot to make more money out of the brand. A port could attract more Asian players, more of whom play on mobile. The question now is if a mobile port of League of Legends can still catch up with other mobile MOBAs in the region. Its competitors have already made large in-roads in the region, especially in promoting esports. The 2018 Asian Games had Arena of Valor as a non-medal demonstration event. Meanwhile, Mobile Legends will be a medal event at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.