League of Legends publisher Riot Games has shut down the public chat rooms for its blockbuster multiplayer online game because it has been plagued by scammers.
The company is figuring out a way to deal with unauthorized Riot Point sellers, scammers and Elo-boost spammers who are collectively making the chat rooms into a bad user experience. Private chat rooms and messaging is still available, but Riot says that it is currently creating a new persistent chat interface that can stop many of the problems.
League of Legends is a spectacularly successful multiplayer online battle arena game with tens of millions of players. (At last count, Riot Games said it had 27 million daily players).
The full statement can be found on the League of Legends forums.
Here’s the full statement from the forum:
Riot Metasystem here to talk to you about our chat room system. Many have pointed out that there are some flaws and I’m here to discuss those issues and solutions to address them.
The official public chat rooms have grown rife with RP sellers, scammers and Elo-boost spam. The default four rooms we established can be used by a tiny fraction of our players at a time. Given the number of League players, most conversation spills into private, community-created rooms.
Unfortunately, private chat rooms and even the awesome community hubs like Dominate Dominion and Summoner School lack moderation tools beyond the ignore button. While the experience in private chat rooms is better than the public versions, we still want to provide tools to address unwelcome drop-ins and toxic behavior.
Long term we’re exploring and working on major and minor improvements to chat and chat rooms aimed at enhancing usability and adding new functionality.
As an immediate action we’re going to disable the public chat rooms until they’re useful and accessible. In their current shape they just don’t work and can actively create negative experiences for many players (especially new players).
We’ll keep all private chat rooms and messaging available to everyone, and bring the official public chat rooms back as soon as we can.
Now that we’ve talked about the current state of chat and some of our first steps, I want to explore what our goals for chat are.
We’d like to create a persistent hangout for the friends you play with. Those friends should bring in their like-minded friends as well, and the badass players you meet playing great games. While you’re at it, why not invite some players from the community as well?
At the end of the day, when you log in you should feel like you’re surrounded by active players that like to play League the way you do. You should be to able jump easily into games with those friends – – without having to send game invites one by one.
Whether we call them chat rooms, hangouts or communities, they could grow to serve many purposes. Players could build a community for junglers, a mentoring group, a champion theory-crafting channel, or casual ARAM or Team Ranked LFGs. Some great communities like these already exist in League but it’s not easy to manage them well.
When we think about these social spaces, we think a good starting point to solve the existing problems is a solid set of tools that empowers players and Riot to create, own, and manage all kinds of different social environments.
Right now we’re looking for your feedback. Tell us what you’re looking for in our chat rooms, and how we can provide you with the right tools to make them into strong communities. We’ll work on the improvements at a steady pace, and keep you posted along the way. Join the discussion below!
Thanks, Riot Metasystem
GamesBeat 2014 — VentureBeat’s sixth annual event on disruption in the video game market — is coming up on Sept 15-16 in San Francisco. Purchase your ticket now to save $200!