As part of tonight’s bombastic League of Legends 10th Anniversary stream, Riot announced a new version of LoL specifically tailored for mobile platforms and consoles, dubbed League of Legends: Wild Rift. The mobile version of the game is due out sometime in 2020, with “rolling alphas and betas through the end of the year, starting in China,” according to the official website. “The plan is to have the mobile version fully live everywhere in the world by the end of 2020, with console coming sometime after.”
It’s unclear whether that means the console version won’t see daylight at all until after next year, or if that’s when Riot is hoping to finish its global roll out by, but one thing’s for sure: It sure looks like the League of Legends we all know and
quit after being slurred at love. But don’t be fooled! Riot went to great lengths during its presentation to hammer home how Wild Rift is a brand new, from-the-ground-up rebuild of the entire LoL experience.
That means new graphics, a new map based on Summoner’s Rift, a new Collection interface and model viewer, and a new dual-joystick control scheme that’s just as “crisp” as mouse controls on desktop, according to Riot. (How anyone, anywhere, could ever build a touchscreen virtual joystick control system that’s “crisp” is beyond me, but I’m willing to be convinced.) The goal is to make a new version of League of Legends that’s easier to live with day to day.
“Many [League] players have been telling us that the marquee League PC experience is sometimes tough to fit into their lives — which can change from one week to the next, one month to the next, one year to the next, and we want to give them another way to play League that may be more suited for their changing lifestyles,” Riot said in a press release. To wit, matches in Wild Rift will be faster than their traditional League counterparts, though it’s not quite clear how much faster, or how Riot plans to speed things up.
Players will have to make due with a mere 40 of League‘s 149 champions at launch. Based on who we can spot in the trailer, it looks like fan favorites Jinx and Ahri are on-board, along with Teamfight Tactics mainstays Garren, Shyvana, Yasuo, Twisted Fate, Vi, Braum, Blitzcrank, Ashe, Zed, and Camille. Additional champions will be added later, though Riot hasn’t said when, or to what extent. One would assume that Riot’s eventual goal would be champion parity between Wild Rift and vanilla, but we can’t say for sure until it says for sure.
“There are some downsides to the ‘from scratch’ approach we’ve taken,” said Wild Rift executive producer Michael Chow during tonight’s presentation. “Although you won’t get the same unlocks between League on PC and this version, you will get great rewards for the time you’ve spent with League over the last 10 years.” Chow didn’t elaborate further on what those rewards might be, and Riot’s recap of tonight’s events leaves that part out all together, so who knows.