The executive producer of the League of Legends MMO says that Riot will cancel the game if it's not good enough.
In an interview with Kanon, Greg 'Ghostcrawler' Street spoke about the MMOs like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy 14, suggesting that a major aspect of their success comes down to the budget its developers have to execute on their ideas. Asked whether he was happy with the amount of money Riot had given his project, Street said that "one of the nice things about Riot is that we're not going to run out of money."
With the global success of League of Legends bankrolling the company, Street says he's not facing "a publisher that's like 'you gotta ship by Christmas or we're cancelled'." Instead, he has to contend with quality - "Riot will cancel this game if the game isn't good enough. They're not gonna cancel the game because it gets too expensive."
To clarify that statement, Street says that "those go hand-in-hand. You can make a very expensive, bad game - and then I would get fired. We could make a less expensive game that still really captures hearts and minds, but it's not a blank cheque." Rather than invest in the costs of the LoL MMO, Riot could take that money and make a new game, or "double down on Valorant." To make his own case for more money, Street would have to consider Riot's perception of the project - "'How does the game look, what are playtesters saying, how are we doing about hitting our milestones?'"
"In the very simplest sense, you can think of it as 'you get some money, if you spend it well they're gonna give you more. If you don't spend it well, you're probably not. And in our case rather than shipping a bad game it would just get shitcanned."
This isn't the first time Street has spoken bluntly about the fate of the League of Legends MMO. Back in April, he pointed out that nothing is certain in games development, and that there's always a chance that the game won't ever ship. He's also spoken about the game's very early reveal, telling fans that the team expected the project to leak, and Riot decided it was better to get the news out itself. While development is said to be going well, it's likely to be several years before Riot begins showing off its MMO - if indeed it ever sees the light of day.
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