Imagine a video game that is exciting, good graphics, has lots of player options, multi-player, and above all is 100% free to download and play and you have the worldwide phenomenon of Riot Games’ 2009 hit, League of Legends. The only thing better than that is that this game, in its tournament venue makes money for the players and has generated nearly $1 billion in revenue for the company.
At present there is a major League of Legends tournament going on with tens of millions of players and fans attending stadiums and online to partake of the festivities. With an estimated 27-37 million or more fans of the game worldwide, it’s no wonder the parent company is raking in the dough even though the game is free. Riot Games makes their money via ticket sales and selling players cheap but sought after additions to the game. For anywhere from $2 to $10, players can grab the latest super power to add to their character or characters the better to vanquish their enemies with.
When you’ve got several million people spending $10 a day, you’ve got money rolling in from every crack in the boat.
The sheer fun the players and fans have with this game is why it’s at the top of the e-sports movement. Players fight robots, dragons, wizards, gargoyles, just about anything that is an enemy from fiction and mythology a player will encounter and the more special abilities they have the more successful they become especially when they’re teamed up with others. These battles go on for hours with explosions, lighting bolts, flame bolts, boulders, gasses, freeze rays, and anything one could imagine. All with special names and those abilities that cost money are easily obtained via ordering online.
By following a strategy whereby the public gets to play for free, get involved up to their ears and then following up with tidbits here and there that calls for paying for, Riot Games has a model that is highly successful and others are sure to follow. There have been free to play games that have options to purchase other items before but none have reached world wide proportions like League of Legends.
Reaching $1 billion in revenue this year is a major milestone.