League of Legends hits the reset button on its lore

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Fans of League of Legends‘ lore may be in for a bit of a shock: After seven years of dedicated story and intricate character relationship writing, Riot Games has decided to reboot the lore of its very popular Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA). According to Riot, things have just gotten out of hand. As more characters, rules, environments, and other elements were added, it became unruly and drastic measures were needed.

In an official blog post, Riot’s Tommy Gnox explains: “In some cases – say, with a champion update – the original concept is mostly sound (or even timelessly awesome!) and all we have to do is bump things up to modern standards,” Riot’s Tommy Gnox said in a blog post. “Sometimes, however, we look back at decisions that made perfect sense when we originally made them, but are now at odds with our design values and ultimately limit our ability to continually improve League of Legends. That’s unacceptable, and in such situations we seek to aggressively re-imagine content in a way that realizes its full potential.

“After a while, these early choices began to create unexpected problems, every new champion needed a reason to join and remain in the League, and as their number grew, the net result was that over time the world started to feel, well, small, and eventually less interesting. The institutions we’d designed fostered creative stagnation, limiting the ways that champions, factions and Runeterra itself could grow and change. Furthermore, the very idea of all-powerful Summoners made Champions little more than puppets manipulated by godlike powers. The background we’d created to explain in-game action was ultimately restricting the potential narrative development of the game’s defining characters.”

Players shouldn’t worry too much about these changes as majority of the fundamental elements are apparently going to stay the same, however one or two things may be “renovated” to allow for a better story.

“Story has the potential to affect every element of League of Legends,” Tommy continued “So the decision to venture into new narrative territory wasn’t made quickly or capriciously. The need for change only became apparent over time, and the choice was made only after a great deal of deliberation. Further, we want you to know that this new approach is focused on opening up possibilities and unlocking a wider, more fully-fledged world – the point isn’t to tear up older stories that form their own cherished part of League’s history.”

“At a very broad level, we’ve decided to push League’s story beyond its original focus on explaining in-game action and forge a new narrative path for Runeterra, one of the principles we’d love to discuss further is our focus on ensuring that champion identities remain consistent regardless of where you encounter them; for example, Darius should always feel the same regardless of whether he’s administering an axe in a story piece, the game, or a cinematic. Exploring champions’ backstories and motivations beyond what you see in the game doesn’t mean they’ll suddenly start feeling like different characters; what it does do is offer a huge spectrum of options for fleshing out personalities and deepening connections.”

There is no denying that this is a massive announcement and their reasoning behind the reboot kind of makes sense, but you have to wonder if there is an ulterior motive behind it. League of Legends is still currently on top of the MOBA world (with Valve’s Dota 2 coming up hot on its heels), but if Riot plans on staying there they may need to expand in order to gain interest and stay culturally relevant. Perhaps this Lore reboot is a way for them to do this without making a full sequel.. I have always said that League of Legends could be a pretty awesome Hunger Games type movie (and with the cinematic material they have been producing lately, I’d say this is more than possible).

Oliver Zimmerman

Oliver Zimmerman

Writer
South-African raised, Dublin-resident. Oli loves games in all their shapes and forms. He particularly loves RPGs. He's also a keen wordsmith, and can often be found not just playing games, but also discussing their rights and wrongs.
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