The world's most popular MOBA might be going mobile. A report from Reuters says Riot Games is working with its parent company Tencent to develop a mobile version of League of Legends. This isn't surprising considering Tencent's own Honour of Kings, a mobile MOBA for China, is an impressive gross earner. According to Reuters' report, Honour of Kings was developed after Riot rejected a proposal for a mobile League from Tencent years ago.
But attempts to bring Honour of Kings to other markets, as Arena of Valor, haven't been very successful, and Riot Games finds itself in a precarious position. While the company made $1.4 billion in revenue , that's down from $2.1 billion in 2017. While tensions between Riot and parent company Tencent—who bought Riot Games in 2015 after owning a majority stake—are reportedly inflamed due to Arena of Valor, it would be a new source of income for a company that currently has one game.
A source told Reuters that the mobile League of Legends has been in development for more than a year, though a separate source says it's unlikely it will launch in 2019. We've reached out to Riot to confirm or deny the report, but have yet to hear back.
Tensions are already high at Riot Games, who last week announced it would not be removing forced arbitration for current employees, despite walkouts and vocal frustration with the company's culture following a Kotaku report last year.
League of Legends going mobile is an interesting concept, though it's questionable how ripe the market is for this kind of game. While Honour of Kings continues to bring in cash, other attempts have not fared so well, and other developers are looking to new genres like Auto Chess for their next game.