League of Legends Rewrites Its Lore, Plans to Explore the World Through "Various Mediums"

Riot Games' Narrative Lead said early choices began to create unexpected problems.

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Riot Games is rewriting much of League of Legends' established lore, the developer has announced.

As Riot Games' Narrative Lead Tom Abernathy (Summoner name: Tommy Gnox) explains it in a lengthy blog post to the game's website, much of the lore the team originally wrote for League of Legends was meant to simply justify gameplay. Concepts like Summoners, Fields of Justice, and the League of Legends themselves were all an attempt to provide fictional context for in-game action.

"After a while, these early choices began to create unexpected problems," Abernathy said. "Every new champion needed a reason to join and remain in the League, and as their number grew, the net result was that over time the world started to feel, well, small, and eventually less interesting. The institutions we’d designed fostered creative stagnation, limiting the ways that champions, factions and Runeterra itself could grow and change. Furthermore, the very idea of all-powerful Summoners made Champions little more than puppets manipulated by godlike powers. The background we’d created to explain in-game action was ultimately restricting the potential narrative development of the game’s defining characters."

Abernathy added that players wanted Riot to write more involved lore for League of Legends as well, and that in the future it will try to be more transparent about its story plans.

"At a very broad level, we’ve decided to push League’s story beyond its original focus on explaining in-game action and forge a new narrative path for Runeterra – a world in which the factions and champions we all know and love have full freedom to grow, travel, and kick ass on a worldwide scale," Abernathy said. "From champion interactions to bios to events (and beyond), we aim to expand the scope of League’s story and pursue a more dynamic and wide-ranging world fit for the outsized capabilities and personalities of our champions."

It's interesting to note that Abernathy mentions that the lore is being rebooted for the game, but that Riot plans to explore the world through "various mediums, in chunks both large and small," which sounds like Riot would like to do more with League of Legends than just games.

At GDC 2014, Abernathy said that "plot is highly overrated," and that it's characters that players actually remember. Abernathy, who previously worked at Microsoft on Halo: Reach, said internal and external research "proves that out."

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