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Should League of Legends have its Own Animated Movie?

When it comes to video games, it’s hard to talk about the industry without mentioning League of Legends. Since its release in 2009, the game has become one of the most popular online games in the world with over 100 million monthly active players. For many players, it's so much more than just a game. With a huge fan base and online community, millions of people talk about LoL every single day. From discussing background lore on champions to sharing in-game tips and tricks, League of Legends has never been more popular.

However, does such popularity justify the making of a League of Legends movie?

Many video game franchises in the past have been given the big screen treatment from the likes of Resident Evil to World of Warcraft. With some films being much more successful than others. Considering League of Legend’s vast universe, lore and story, will it ever have a chance of being turned into a box office hit?

Riot, the developers of the League of Legends have already produced plenty of animated short cinematics in the past. Usually released to announce new in-game champions and to celebrate events, these animated shorts have racked up millions of views on YouTube. Do these short films prove there is enough depth to this game world and interest from fans to make a successful feature film? Or is it all just luck?

World of Warcraft boasted 12 million players back in its peak and the recent 2016 film adaptation was a huge success raking in $433.7m. With League of Legends having over 100 million active monthly players, there is little doubt that a LoL feature film would cater to a wide audience. Add to the wealth of lore surrounding the world and plethora of fascinating characters, there is quite a lot of potential to draw from for a feature film.

But would a League of Legends animated feature film look like?

Let's take a look at Riot’s past animated cinematics and how they’ve drawn in both passionate fans and curious onlookers. Perhaps there are clues as to what key elements of League of Legends would need to include to make a successful feature film.

To give you an idea of some of the animated cinematics Riot has made in the past, let’s take a look at some of their most popular releases.

Leauge of Legends Cinematics

A New Dawn

Released in 2014, A New Dawn is one of Riot’s most popular cinematics. With 38 million views as of February 2018, its clear fans enjoyed this 6-minute story about life in the rift. The 3D animated cinematic focuses on an epic battle between 2 teams in a jungle-like terrain known as the rift. Based on and including features from the game itself, this cinematic explores the personalities, teamwork, and strengths of particular champions from in the game. For many fans, this was a great insight into the LoL universe and what potentially a League of Legends movie could look like.

A Twist of Fate

Another of Riot’s most popular cinematics is titled A Twist of Fate and has racked up over 43 million views so far. Similar to A New Dawn, the cinematic features lots of champions from the game which again are stuck in a fierce battle against each other. Released in 2013, this was one of Riot’s original cinematics which after its success laid the foundation for many future cinematic videos. Compared to their earlier work, this was the time Riot actually started to get good at 3D animation. Before A Twist of Fate, their animated cinematics were still struggling in quality and almost painful to watch. However, by investing time into a good CGI department, its worked wonders for LoL’s growth over the years.

Get Jinxed

Who said Riot only produce animated cinematics with champions fighting each other? This animated short breaks all of their previous rules and instead focuses on one character. Combined with an original song produced by Riot, this is, in fact, their first League of Legends music video.

Appropriately titled Get Jinxed, the animated short focuses on the main character Jinx and her crazy personality. The short was actually released to celebrate the launch of Jinx at the time, and quickly racked up millions of views. As of today it currently has 69 million views making it one of the top 3 most viewed videos on Riot’s YouTube channel. If Riot is thinking of making a League of Legends movie, then maybe they should include an original song or music video?

ANNIE: Origins

One of Riot’s newest releases is this animated short titled ANNIE: Origins. Similar to other videos Riot have released in the past, the video focuses on a particular champions background story and lore. In this video, the character is Annie, a young girl who after losing her sister turned into a wild pyromancer capable of summoning a massive flaming teddy bear.

Unlike Riot’s other videos this animated short uses a unique animation style which produces some amazing results. It’s hard to say if each frame was drawn by hand or digitally painted, but either way, a lot of effort has gone into making this short. As much as we would like to see an entire League of Legends film like this, we’re not sure Riot have the time or budget to create something in this style.

Now we’ve had a look at Riot’s past animated shorts and cinematics, how could Riot use their experience and success to create a successful League of Legends movie?

Is a League of Legends Movie Possible?

Ever since League of Legends started to become popular and break records back in 2013, many fans have been demanding a film. With plenty of other games being turned into successful movies, will League of Legends be the next video game to hit the big screen?

It’s no secret that making a movie is a big task. With so many things to think about it can be a long process that most movies don’t make it through. From the story and idea to the initial funding and casting, there are plenty of potential setbacks at every stage.

One of the toughest challenges for Riot if they decided to create a movie would be what to base the movie on. With over 130 in-game characters would they try to fit them all into the movie somehow, or would their budget mean a much smaller lineup? Would they focus on individual characters and their backstory, or would they think up a brand new plot to include everyone working as a team? With so many possibilities available, deciding on a solid plot that would entertain audiences would be tricky. Considering most people who play League of Legends ranges from 13 - 23 years old, it's likely that an action-packed animated film would perform the best.

This opens up a whole range of movie plots from the LoL universe. Since this would be the first ever League of Legends film, we think it would be best to start at the very beginning. This means diving into the history of the Rift and why it exists in the first place. An excellent plot for the movie would be the rise of both Noxus and Demacia. Both are large capital cities with different followers and characters. Not only would this be an excellent plot to educate non-LoL players about the history and lore of the game, but it would also be a great way to introduce many champions. Eventually, the movie would lead up to the first battle on the Rift as the grand finale. But first, it would explore the very foundations of the Rift and how it came to be.

In future movies (assuming the first one is a success!) there are almost endless plots and stories they could explore the vast LoL lore. Not to mention that with the various updates and changes the game receives on a monthly basis there will always be something new to explore.

Overall, we’d love to see an animated League of Legends movie hit the big screen. Judging from the animated cinematics that Riot has made in the past, their animation skills are definitely up to scratch. Although for a full-length feature movie they’ll certainly want to work on the plot and the dialogue between characters.

Whatever Riot do come up with for their film, one thing’s for sure. There’ll be an army of die-hard fans queuing outside cinemas to watch it on its release date. With a global fan base of over 100 million players, anything Riot produce is bound to be a success.

Guest Post by Alex Sol.


Alex is an avid League of Legends player who has been playing since the game first came out in 2009. When he’s not playing League of Legends he writes articles for the highly popular LoL website, UnrankedSmurfs.