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Riot Games had to shut the public chat rooms for its popular League of Legends online game this week because they were overrun by scammers and spammers. But we followed up with them and got a little more explanation of what is going to happen next for the extremely popular multiplayer online battle arena game.
With at least 27 million daily players (as of earlier this year), League of Legends has vastly outgrown the chat rooms that were designed for the original game, according to a response we received from Riot’s public relations team. And now it is leaning toward giving players the ability to run and police the chat communities themselves.
Riot had said earlier that the chat rooms had become rife with Riot Point sellers, scammers and Elo-boost spam. The RP sellers and Elo-boost spammers are common across many communities in the game industry, where scammers try to prey upon busier players with fast leveling, false promises of cheap in-game currency, and other account compromising bait-and-switch techniques. Riot told us, “These techniques can mislead players and put personal information at stake and this is unacceptable to us.”
Riot also said the old system couldn’t scale.
“These decisions will only affect a small portion of our player base, but regardless of how few will be affected, we are focused on improving the community experience for League of Legends,” Riot added. “In order to bring them back, we need solutions and approaches that work with the scale of League. As a solution that isn’t specific to the public chat rooms, we are pursuing giving more ownership to player-run communities, and scaling that way. Public Chat rooms are less important than player-run and player-managed communities. Public chats are simply a fallback solution, in a sense.”
The company is seeking feedback from players on what they’d like to see and how it can empower players to create, own, and manage all sorts of different social environments.