Riot Games announces today that its upcoming Warcraft III mod turned full game League of Legends will be free-to-play, with a premium retail edition available for those that would rather pay.
League of Legends is an action-strategy game with roleplaying elements, fashion after the Warcraft III Defense of the Ancients game type. The player takes on a role of a Summoner, who calls forth a Champion to fight for him against other players. Riot has put a ton of work into developing the game, revealing new Champions on a regular basis and tightening up the graphics on level three, so the announcement that the game will be free-to-play comes as a bit of a surprise.
"One of our goals at Riot has been to set a high quality bar for core games that are available for free online as we believe that a relentless focus on delivering tremendous value to online communities will earn player loyalty," Brandon Beck, co-founder and CEO, Riot Games, said. "League of Legends is being built as a highly competitive core game that we believe will change many people's minds about the type and caliber of games that can be offered for free."
For those of you averse to not spending money, fear not! League of Legends has two currencies. Influence points are earned by simply playing the game, allowing players to purchase runes that will enhance their powers, much like experience points. Riot Points, on the other hand, are purchased using real currency and exchangeable for new Champions to play and cosmetic enhancements.
Riot Games is confident that their Riot Points won't be able to purchase anything that would give one player a distinct advantage over another. They'd best keep a close eye on Champion balance then, as players will eat them alive if they sense money gives their opponents any sort of leg up.
When the game goes live in September, players will be able to download and play for free, or they can opt to purchase the League of Legends Collector's Pack at their local game store, which offers exclusive Champion skins, new Champions, Riot Points, and Runes.
Interested in learning more? Riot Games will be hosting a Q&A session this Friday from 2-4PM Pacific, where developers will answer every question you can imagine in an exhaustive fashion.