Join gaming leaders online at GamesBeat Summit Next this upcoming November 9-10. Learn more about what comes next. 

Developer Riot Games is taking The Order of Shadows and the Field of Justice and throwing them out because it wants to completely reboot the lore for League of Legends.

The studio responsible for one of the most popular games in the world says that its established storyline is now holding the game back. To keep things interesting for the multiplayer online arena battler (MOBA), Riot wants to start over with canon that will enable the developer to introduce new characters without having to jump through hoops to have them fit within the existing logic of the fictional world.

“In the early days of League, we created a fictional background that would justify how players could control champions during game,” Riot narrative lead Tommy Gnox wrote in a blog. “After a while, these early choices began to create unexpected problems.”

The studio ran into issues trying to create compelling reasons for their new characters to join and remain part of the storyline. While the creative team responsible for the background was always able to come up with ways of explaining the presence of every new character, Riot says the world of League of Legends started to suffer.


Three top investment pros open up about what it takes to get your video game funded.

Watch On Demand

“The net results was that, over time, the world started to feel, well, small — and, eventually, less interesting,” wrote Gnox. “The institutions we’d designed fostered creative stagnation, limiting the ways that champions, factions, and Runneterra itself could grow and change. 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.”

League of Legends has reached nearly unparalleled levels of success. It has around 70 million monthly active players, but the game’s story didn’t have much to do with turning the MOBA into the monster that it is. Instead, most fans love it as an e-sport and play it to compete. Its tournaments also draw a massive audience of spectators.

While a rebooted story may enable Riot to create better characters, it’s difficult to see how it could make the game any more popular than it already is.


GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. How will you do that? Membership includes access to:
  • Newsletters, such as DeanBeat
  • The wonderful, educational, and fun speakers at our events
  • Networking opportunities
  • Special members-only interviews, chats, and "open office" events with GamesBeat staff
  • Chatting with community members, GamesBeat staff, and other guests in our Discord
  • And maybe even a fun prize or two
  • Introductions to like-minded parties
Become a member