Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Riot Games takes back LoL from Garena in SE Asia region

Back in 2022, Riot Games announced that it will begin self-publishing League of Legends (LoL) and Teamfight Tactics in Southeast Asia from January 2023, concluding its 12-year partnership with Singaporean game developer and publisher Garena.

Riot Games Philippines country Manager Joel Guzman

The move was driven by the goal to ensure that players hailing from the Southeast Asian region receive the same gaming experience as those from other regions where the game currently has presence in.

In the following months, the company expressed its plans to expand its presence in Southeast Asia by establishing new local offices in countries, including the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Because of this transition, players will need to transition their accounts from Garena to Riot and will receive in-game rewards as a gift. This new setup will place Riot Games in charge of publishing services such as localization, billing, and player support to improve players’ experience.

Some of the localization efforts include welcome events and local activities like the recent Summoner’s Rave event hosted by Riot Games at The Platform, Newport World Resorts in Pasay City.

The event signaled the availability of in-game events and cross-franchise campaigns already available in other regions to Filipino players, as well as better access to player support and other resources, a new ranked season, a new in-game tournament mode, and hyperlocal and offline gatherings for the local gaming community.

“The migration of League of Legends back to Riot Games took a lot of Rioters to accomplish. It took people from the local team here in the Philippines, the central team in Los Angeles, and also from our Asia-Pacific hub in Singapore. Our team is excited to create activities that will really cater to the Filipino gamer community. We want them to remember these experiences and understand we’re here for them,” said Riot Games Philippines country manager Joel Guzman.

He continued that the return of the game to Riot Games is just the first step in their mission to deliver high-level player experiences to Filipino gamers, followed by either bringing international talent to local shores or elevating the local gaming talent to be world stage ready.

Riot Games initially released League of Legends in North America and Europe in October 2009, and its strategic gameplay and competitive nature quickly gained popularity in Asia Pacific, particularly in South Korea where it became a cultural phenomenon that gathered players of all ages in so-called “PC bangs” and tournaments.

In 2011, Riot Games tapped Garena to expand its reach in Southeast Asia, allowing the latter to publish and operate League of Legends in the region and provide localized support for players, including the Philippines. The partnership helped grow the League community in Southeast Asia and establish it as a major esports hub.

Since then, Riot Games has expanded its presence in Asia Pacific in recent years by establishing local offices and self-publishing its games such as the FPS title Valorant and Legends of Runeterra since 2020. Starting January 2023, Riot Games self-published League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics in Southeast Asia to provide a consistent gaming experience and offer new in-game events and cross-product campaigns.

The Summoners Rave party was hosted by esports commentators Autolose and Osiris, kicked off by a performance from Hannah Ichiko, and graced by cosplayers Myrtle Sarrosa, Charess, Aryanna Epperson, Prince De Guzman Transformations, and more.

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