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League of Legends

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Online Multiplayer
Developer: Riot Games
Release Date: Oct. 27, 2009 (US), Oct. 30, 2009 (EU)

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'League of Legends' Developer Acquired By Chinese Internet Provider

by Rainier on Feb. 7, 2011 @ 12:19 a.m. PST

League of Legends is an online multiplayer session-based game that combines elements of role-playing and strategy genres with addictive battle action. In League of Legends rival teams will compete against one another for victory on highly stylized battlefields and landscapes.

After an age of warfare, the superpowers of the land of Valoran have come together to form a governing body that will settle all disputes behind the closed doors of the Institute of War. Their task is a noble one — to lift the impossible weight of bloody war off the shoulders of the world and place it upon a select few — The League of Legends. On the Fields of Justice, legendary Champions forge alliances and resolve their differences in battle arenas. In the League there is one rule that reigns over all else: Winner rules all.

In League of Legends, players take on the role of a persistent Summoner avatar that gazes upon the battlefield from above and influences battles by taking command of a chosen Champion. During each online multiplayer play session, gamers will choose one of dozens of unique Champions wielding diverse skills and abilities, and engage in fast-paced team-oriented combat to bring their foes to ruin. Champions will gain levels, items, and abilities that enable them to slay their opponents and augment the strength of their allies by battling with enemy minions, foul beasts, deadly turrets and enemy Champions. Players also advance their Summoner’s rank and power to gain new abilities and items, assisting their Champions in battle.

League of Legends emphasizes team-oriented gameplay and players must work together in order to defeat the opposing team. Players will be able to communicate easily through in-game lounges and chat rooms, and forums will act as a conversational hub for a wide variety of discussions amongst community members. League of Legends will feature custom-built multiplayer support including matchmaking, stat tracking, clan support, anti-cheat systems, dedicated in-game ladders and Leaverbuster technology. In addition to extensive multiplayer features, League of Legends will include a single-player mode where players can learn how to play and practice new strategies by engaging robust Bot-AI.

Riot Games announced that Tencent Holdings Limited, a leading integrated Internet services provider in China, has acquired a majority stake in the company.

The transaction is expected to close within 30 days, subject to regulatory approvals. Upon closing, Riot Games will retain its independent operations and its existing management team will continue to lead all aspects of the company. Financial terms of the agreement were not released.

Riot Games will maintain its headquarters in Los Angeles, and plans to hire aggressively in 2011 across all of its offices. With the financial backing of Tencent, the company plans to enhance its flagship title “League of Legends," expand into new markets and develop new games.

“This is exciting news for 'League of Legends' players and the existing Riot Games team,” said Brandon Beck, CEO, Riot Games. “Tencent's investment will provide our talented team of designers, developers and community staff with additional resources to focus on innovating around ‘League of Legends’ and launching new projects that push the boundaries in the gaming space.”

“League of Legends” is a free multiplayer online battle-arena game that has received acclaim from critics and players alike. With a community of more than one million active players logging more than half a billion playtime minutes each month, “League of Legends” is one of the industry’s top gaming titles. Tencent licensed the title for the China market in mid-2008, and is planning for its open-beta testing in 2011.

“Tencent is committed to delivering premium quality online games to global gamers and Riot has proven its capability in the development of its flagship title,” said David Wallerstein, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent. “Tencent will provide the Riot team with the support and autonomy to continue to deliver high quality experiences that impress both fans and critics in the global gaming market.”

Tencent was an investor in Riot Games during its previous rounds of financing. Other prior investors included Benchmark Capital and Firstmark Capital.

“The team at Riot has built an incredible company in just a few years,” stated Mitch Lasky, partner at Benchmark Capital, and Riot Games board member. “Tencent’s additional investment validates the disruptive position Riot has created in the online video game market, and provides the company with the resources to press their advantage for years to come.”

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