Massively multiplayer online (MMO) games can be viewed as the cash cows of the gaming industry, and the king of this lucrative market is Riot Games’ MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), League of Legends (LoL). Currently in 2014, LoL is on pace to crack US$1 billion in revenue.
(Image taken from wikipedia)
Why is LoL so popular? Well…One way is that it differentiates itself from direct competitor Dota 2 (MOBA game with similar gameplay), in that LoL is a lot more streamlined for newcomers. Having played both games, LoL is definitely more appealing in this regard because there is less memorization which is a barrier to entry. However, LoL has also catered to the hardcore gamers by hosting World Championships each year in several countries. Thus, the game successfully caters to both consumer bases – effectively maximizing its revenue opportunities.
The amazing thing is that LoL is completely free. Players don’t have to spend any money to play the game but can choose to pay for optional skins, which often go on seasonal sales. Riot Games is committed to enhancing the games value propositions by providing consistent monthly updates, and temporary game modes – all of which is free. This dedication highlights why LoL has such a loyal consumer base. Another interesting feature is that players need to play more of the game to unlock more champions which provides incentives for players. In my opinion, Riot Games seems like a company with a strong sense of community understanding and core values and this is why they are successful.