How much does League of Legends make for Riot?
League of Legends might be a free to play game but it’s bringing in some serious money for the game’s developer Riot Games. Since its release in 2009 League of Legends has consistently grown bringing in more and more money each year. So exactly how much does League of Legends make and where does it all come from?
Welcome to the Store
Most League of Legends players will know about the in game store. In this store Riot sells a variety of in game items and boosts which can be purchased using their own currency “Riot Points”. These Riot Points, also called RP can be purchased in a number of different ways through online payment processors such as PayPal.
Riot have also recently expanded their payment options by introduction prepaid physical gift cards. Like other gift cards the card is purchased in store and then is redeemed online using the unique code. The RP is then added to the user’s account and they can spend it how they wish in the store.
What’s for Sale?
There are plenty of items available for players to buy in the store. The most obvious one are champions. There are currently over 130 champions available in the game and all of them have to be unlocked. Although it’s possible to unlock them all if you’re a free play it can take a very long time. To speed things up Riot give you the ability to purchase them in store for RP. These champions can vary from 260 to 975 RP depending on the tier.
Once you’ve bought a champion you can also personalise them by buying a custom skin for them. Every champion comes with a default skin which is fairly common as most players will use it. To stand out from the rest Riot sell a range of different skins for each champion. Some skins are sold for as little as 390 RP and are considered the classic / standard skins which although change the champion’s appearance a lot of people own them. The prices vary all the way up to the ultimate skins which cost a whopping 3250 RP. These skins have had a lot of effort put into them by Riot and not only feature cosmetic changes to the champion but also new animations, sounds and particles.
Finally Riot also offers boosts for players in game. When you first make an account every player starts off at level 1. In order to level up you need to play matches to gain XP. This can be a long and painful process as it takes many many hours of work. Luckily Riot sell XP boosts which allows a player to receive more XP for every game they play, thus decreasing the time required. Although not as popular as champions and skins they still contribute to Riot’s sales figures.
Just How Much Do They Make?
Back in 2015 it was reported that League of Legends made an incredible $1.6 billion dollars. Yes that’s right Riot made over a BILLION DOLLARS from selling virtual goods on a game that is completely free to play. How does that make sense?
Although the game is free it can take a while to unlock all of the champions, by paying you speed this process up. Some people would rather spend $5 worth of RP on a champion instead of having to spend a week playing to unlock it. On the other hand people like to show off and stand out. Why use the default skin on a champion when you can purchase a unique skin that makes you stand out for $5?
According to official player statistics from Riot themselves over 27 million people played the game every day throughout 2015. This figure only increased when looking at the number of active monthly players which brought the figure to 67 million. As you can see that’s a lot of people and if less than half of them buy a new skin every month, this can add up to huge revenues for Riot.
How Does This Compare To Other Games?
League of Legends competitor Dota 2 who is owned by Valve made a reported $18 million every month in 2015 which brings the yearly total to $216m. As you can see the revenue from League of Legends completely destroyed the profits from Dota 2. In fact, it takes League of Legends 5 days to make the entire monthly profits from Dota 2.
With the League of Legends player base continuing to grow it’s likely the revenues will also follow suite for 2016.
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