On Oct. 31, Riot Forge and Airship Syndicate announced that the League of Legends RPG spin-off, Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, will launch in early 2021.
The single-player turn-based RPG, which was originally announced in 2019, is set to take place in the regions of Runeterra, Bilgewater, and the Shadow Isles. You’ll play as Miss Fortune, Illaoi, Braum, Yasuo, Ahri, or Pyke and journey bravely into the ever-creeping Black Mist and uncover its secrets. The game’s official website, which contains information on the regions you’ll explore and characters you’ll follow, has been unveiled.
Along with the information arrives a fully-animated official announcement trailer, which you can watch below. That’s all of the new information for now, but we can probably expect more relatively soon since the goal is for this game to be out in early 2021.
As a MOBA, League of Legends doesn’t leave much room for storytelling outside of occasional bits of lore and short stories, which is where Riot Forge comes in. A publishing label within Riot Games, it’s dedicated to working with partner studios like Airship Syndicate in order to expand the League of Legends universe. Ruined King will be its debut title.
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League of Legends has always most been similar to Overwatch for me in the sense that its characters look and sound far too interesting to be confined to a genre that isn’t fit for storytelling. So much effort — at times to a questionable degree — is put into realizing these characters. This is done in the service of making you attached to a select few that you’ll dedicate yourself to playing as among such large rosters.
It’s an effective double-edged sword. While it keeps players who need more than perpetually toxic competitive matches engaged in coming back, it leaves those fans of narrative games (and I am very much one of them) yearning for more from these characters. Sometimes, we’ll get comics and maybe even a novel or two, but the characterization and development contained in those side materials are minimally shown (at best) in the actual games.
It’s a pity because these characters are filled to the brim with potential storylines waiting to be explored. Ruined King has honestly piqued my interest even as someone who has absolutely no attachment to League of Legends (and by that, I mean no attachment — I’ve never even downloaded it). I want to know more about these characters, and a single-player turn-based RPG feels like the perfect medium in which to explore them — especially in comparison to what it seems Overwatch 2 will be (whenever that’s coming out). Both Riot Games and Blizzard Entertainment have successful hero-focused MOBAs on their hands, but it’s the former that seems to know the best direction to take with the one it’s got.
Ruined King: A League of Legends Story is planned for release on PC via the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It will also be released afterward on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox One Series S|X, and owners of the previous generation versions will be able to upgrade to the current-gen versions for free.