Is League of Legends: Wild Rift Dead? A look at the game’s history and future
Riot Games released Wild Rift back in 2020 for most regions of the world while it came to the Americas later in 2021. The game had been in development for years and ahead of its release was touted as the next big thing for mobile MOBAs.
Wild Rift was being developed by Riot Games, making it one of the first major mobile exclusive titles by the developer. The game was a scaled-down version of the original League of Legends but still promised the same level of competitiveness and experience on Android and iOS. Riot, which has successfully been running the League esports ecosystem, was also being considered for developing something similar for Wild Rift as well.
Riot answered the fans’ requests and announced an esports tournament from the first of the year of the game’s release itself. The chief competitor for Wild Rift was Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB). MOONTON was keeping up with Wild Rift’s rise as well. The developer, which had been running two franchised esports leagues for MLBB at that point reportedly included an exclusivity clause for teams in the league. According to this, if they had a team in any other MOBA, they would lose out on in-game branded items. This likely meant fewer financial incentives as well.
Despite this, some teams decided to sign esports rosters in Wild Rift. However, the game couldn’t quite catch on.
Is League of Legends: Wild Rift dead, why the game isn’t so popular?
Wild Rift hasn’t been the most successful game since its launch as it struggled to keep up with the rise of rival Mobile Legends in SEA. A major reason for the popularity of MLBB is its esports scene. Riot tried to counter this with their own esports plans, however, abandoned the plans in the first year itself.
Riot announced earlier this year that it was pulling the plug on Wild Rift esports in the West and replacing it with an Asia-only tournament. A lot of fans have been wondering what would have happened if Riot decided to continue supporting the game for a few years to give time for the esports ecosystem to develop.
Despite the fall in esports, the game is still very popular and attracts a large player base. The exact numbers aren’t available but the game has easily surpassed more than 10 million downloads worldwide.
While Riot isn’t focusing on esports for Wild Rift, the development team hasn’t stopped. The game gets regular updates, balance changes, and new content to keep players engaged.
Thus, Wild Rift isn’t dead at all. However, the game hasn’t been able to be as popular as many once expected it to be. Riot can still make efforts to make that happen – especially since another competitor in the form of Honor of Kings is set to join the mobile MOBA battle race.