The creator of League of Legends, Riot Games, plans to “double down in China,” according to the company’s vice president and head for China, Leo Lin.
“In China, we have a lot of passionate players for ‘League of Legends’ and for Riot Games,” said Lin. He added that the company would focus not only on esports but also on game development and entertainment.
Riot Games will open a new studio in Shanghai that will develop games for the global audience and hire hundreds of roles.
PC gaming in China accounts for more than 32% of game revenue and 45% of all gamers.
Given that Riot Games’ top-earning game League of Legends is a PC title, China represents a key market for the company. Furthermore, the game has become one of the most played esports worldwide and one of the most popular games at new online sportsbooks that offer betting on esports.
China hosted the League of Legends World Championship in 2020 and will host this massively popular competition again in 2021.
According to Statista, the esports market has already reached $1 billion in global revenue this year.
With a significant portion of PC gamers living in China, it will undoubtedly be a vast market for Riot Games. Since mobile gaming is also on the rise in that country, Riot Games has focused its attention on launching League of Legends: Wild Rift, a free version of LoL that can be played on Android and iOS devices. The mobile game has yet to be released in China.
“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,” said Lin. He also stated that the company plans to start a mobile esports league in China.