According to recent announcements by the development staff, the fighting game made by Riot will be free-to-play. Riot Games, developers who’ve achieved global recognition due to League of Legends first voiced their interest in branching off their IP back during the 10th anniversary of their popular MOBA game, announcing numerous projects in the works including the now acclaimed animated series Arcane, and several game spin-offs in the form of the Ruined King and smaller titles like Hextech Mayhem.
Several of Riot’s larger productions have yet to release, including an MMORPG project that is in the process of being refined and Project L, a fighting game where two players duke it out with a team of 2 League champions against each other, set to the backdrop of landmarks in the realm of Runeterra, such as Piltover or Shurima. Players would likely not find such subgenres of fighting games foreign if they’ve played titles such as Dragon Ball FighterZ or Marvel vs Capcom.
Similarly, players familiar with the catalog of Riot Games should be well acquainted with the concept of a free-to-play title. In a recent video released by Riot Games, Executive Producer for Project L, Tom Cannon gave some additional information regarding the fighting game developed by his division. Some interesting things to take away from his statements include confirmation of an additional playable character, Illaoi, The Kraken Priestess of Bilgewater, who is equally imposing in physique and power, but also the fact that the game will be free to play.
The Executive Producer cites this to be due to consideration of the player bases’ diverse financial position and also to better reach out to players who are familiar with the IP but not necessarily with fighting games in general. He also acknowledges that this “probably wouldn’t come as a surprise” to people who’s played a Riot game before. Further elaborating on the monetization model for the game, he briefly summarised it as doing it in a way that is respectful to the player’s time and wallet.
It’s hard to say what that exactly means, as past free-to-play Riot Games titles such as League of Legends or Valorant monetize by selling hefty-priced cosmetics and securing a bottom line via a battle pass system. Both have come under community scrutiny from time to time for the money or time that they cost to purchase or grind. The currently gaming landscape, particularly in regards to free-to-play video games makes it hard to be reassured based on statements alone and tends to require further clarification, like an actual price tag and what the game intends to sell to earn back development cost.
Project L is currently in development.