Riot doesn’t want the Runeterra MMO to ‘be the only game you will ever play’


Riot Games’ Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street has been dropping more words on Twitter to tease and hype the MMORPG he’s spearheading for the company. The latest round is all about time – specifically, the time players put into MMOs and whether studios can and should respect that time to the point of not expecting all of it.

“[T]his sentiment comes out when players may not be having fun in the moment but feel like they have to log in or risk falling behind or letting their friends down,” he says, arguing that while a little bit of motivation is good, too much isn’t. “The real heart of the problem IMO comes when players say they are bored. They did the raids, and the alts, and the economy, and whatever else, and they kind of want something else to do. This is especially true if they are paying by the hour or by the month.”

“If you add too much to do, then you’re asking most progression-focused players to just play more. But if you make the content really optional feeling (“Hey why don’t you go finish this low level quests you never ran?”) then it doesn’t feel like real content. This is the kind of thing we will have to playtest the heck out of, but if I had to guess, we will probably come in on the side of not having enough to do. Yes I am serious! We don’t want to be the only game you will ever play. If another game comes out that you love, or god forbid you love more than one live game (say VALORANT), you should be able to play those too! If you don’t have another game you want to play, great. Read a book. Catch up on TV. We will make more content, and then you can jump back in. If you really, really love our game, well thank you, and we will make sure there is something you can do if you just want to play more and more hours. But it will probably feel pretty optional.”

“The TLDR of all this is we want to respect player time,” Street concludes. “Now please don’t misread that to imagine we are making a small game. We are not. It is a very large game. The reason you are going to have to wait so long is because it is a large game. But we can still respect your time. And you can help remind your friends when they say they’re bored and wish there was more to do, that the developers didn’t want it to feel like a second (or third) job. They didn’t want you to have to play 4 hours every day without fail. They didn’t want every session to be epic.”

MMO players will note that this echoes the philosophy behind Final Fantasy XIV, whose director, Naoki Yoshida, has famously told players to take breaks from the MMO. Here’s Yoshida:

“It’s all right not to play it everyday. Since it’s just a game, you can stop forcing yourself if it’s hard on you to keep that up. Rather, it’ll just pile up unnecessary stress if you limit yourself into playing just that one game since there are so many other games out there. So, do come back and play it to your heart’s content when the major patch kicks in, then stop it to play other games before you got burnt out, and then come back for another major patch. This will actually make me happier, and in the end, I think this is the best solution I can answer for keeping your motivation up for the game.”

Well, it works for FFXIV. Be nice to see it applied to other games. Further reading on the Riot MMO:

Source: Twitter
Riot Games is considered a controversial company in the gaming world following a 2018 exposé of the sexual discrimination and harassment inherent in what workers described as its “bro culture.” The scandal brought forth accusations against multiple developers and high-ranking executives and ultimately led to a developer labor dispute and walk-out. Former workers and the state of California, which alleged that Riot was refusing to cooperate with its investigation, lodged lawsuits though Riot settled with one victims’ group at the end of 2021 for over $100M.
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