Riot Games is opening new development studio in China as the region sees enormous growth in gaming

Riot Games to open new dev studio in China (Image via Riot Games)
Riot Games to open new dev studio in China (Image via Riot Games)

Riot Games announced that they are establishing a new game development studio in Shanghai, China. This new studio is slated to not only expand their existing games like League of Legends, Wild Rift, Teamfight Tactics, etc. but it will also create new IPs.

According to reports, the Riot Games studio in China will scale to support more than a hundred developers, and their main focus will be on the development of new games.

China is quite enticing to any PC game development studio as it has a huge population inclined only to gaming. PC gaming accounts for more than 32% of game revenue and nearly 45% of gamers in China, according to Niko Partners.

Can Riot Games’ new studio in China leverage the enormous gaming growth in the region?

The US-headquartered Riot Games is fully owned by the Chinese tech giant, Tencent. Leo Lin, the VP and head of China for Riot Games, in a conversation with CNBC, said that:

“In China, we have a lot of passionate players for League of Legends and for Riot Games. So as a result, we would like to double down in China and continue to invest here including not only working on esports but for example, game development and other things like entertainment.”

While there have been previous concerns over Tencent’s influence on Riot Games’ operation, Lin reiterated the independence in the functioning of Riot Games and that Tencent’s role is solely that of a publisher.

He stated,

“We are happy about the current partnership, and we will continue working closely. But that won’t change the fact that Riot Games operates independently and Tencent respects a lot of that… we are very confident that we will move forward together in China to serve our players.”

While PC gaming is a significant part of China's gaming revenue, mobile gaming has grown widely popular in the country as well. Riot Games’ product portfolio in recent times clearly suggests that the company recognizes the mobile gaming industry as a potential market they want to capture, with League of Legends: Wild Rift, Teamfight Tactics, and Legends of Runeterra being the prime examples.

Riot Games’ League of Legends and Valorant are PC-exclusive games. However, their quest to capture the mobile gaming market presumably continues with this new development studio in China. Lin’s statement corroborates the same:

“At Riot Games, we would like to focus on (mobile gaming) moving forward … because our players now, a lot of them are playing on mobile. And ‘Wild Rift’ is a big move we are taking and it’s a big bet. Currently, we are very confident, it’s a very good product for our players.”

Quick Links

Edited by Allan Mathew
Be the first one to comment