Riot Is Ending Its Partnership With Garena

by | Nov 9, 2022 | Esports, League of Legends, News | 0 comments

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Riot Games, the developer of League of Legends (LoL), League of Legends: Wild Rift, Teamfight Tactics (TFT), VALORANT, and Legends of Runeterra, is making a big move that will change the LoL experience in Southeast Asia.

On Wednesday (November 9), Riot announced that it would take over the publishing of LoL and TFT in Southeast Asia in January 2023, which was previously handled by Garena.

This means Riot will now have five self-published products in the region, including VALORANT, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and Legends of Runeterra.

Additionally, Riot has named VNGGames as the new TFT publisher in Vietnam and Taiwan Mobile as the new LoL and TFT publisher in Taiwan. These territories were also previously released through Garena, Sea’s digital division.

By making this change, Riot hopes to improve the player experience in both games, break down the silo in which the region had lived for more than a decade, and integrate the region into the global gaming community.

What Will Happen

There will be a deactivation of LoL Garena accounts starting in January 2023. To guarantee a smooth migration, players must switch to Riot accounts starting November 18.

Instead of being removed, player data, champions, icons, and equipment will be transferred from Garena to Riot Accounts in the upcoming weeks.

According to Alex Kraynov, Managing Director for APAC, Riot Games, ping and potential packet loss would be significantly lower, and Riot aims to make games run as smoothly as other regions globally.

He also affirmed that starting in January 2023, LoL players in the SEA will have the opportunity to own all champions by successfully completing a set of tasks to celebrate this migration.

What Can We Expect

Players can anticipate various exciting welcome events and rewards, access to regional Riot publishing services like localization, billing, and player support, and local marketing initiatives, together with the continued publication of League of Legends esports once the publishing transition between the two companies is complete.

Players can anticipate more in-game content integration in the future and engage in in-game campaigns and cross-franchise initiatives. Support for neighborhood competitions will also gradually improve.

To ensure that players’ data is retained and the transition goes smoothly. The account connecting procedure, which will be available to everyone on November 18, is being worked on by Riot and Garena.

For thorough instructions on account migration and a comprehensive list of FAQs, players can visit the Account Migration Microsite.

To prevent disruptions, players are asked to move their accounts as soon as possible to Riot. Additionally, early account movers will be qualified for a variety of fun in-game rewards.

What This Means

Riot’s goal is to provide League/TFT players in Southeast Asia with the same in-game experience as other League regions. They also aim to provide the meaningful engagement players have come to expect from Riot both online and offline through in-game campaigns, ease of accessibility to cross-franchise events, and exciting out-of-game experiences including community activities and regional Riot-operated League esports.

Players will need to transition their accounts from Garena to Riot. As a welcome to Riot, once players transition their accounts they will receive a suite of in-game rewards as a gift! In addition, they’re planning some welcome events and local activities to further enhance the player experience.

This will integrate players from Southeast Asia deeper into the Riot ecosystem. That includes everything from large in-game events and cross-product campaigns, to fan-favorite policies like art for RP, and so much more. 

Players will also have access to Riot publishing services like localization, billing, and player support which will help to improve players’ experiences in impactful ways.  

Both League and TFT will be available through the Riot multigame client, a single sign-on platform where all existing Riot games are housed. To download the multi-game client, players can go to www.riotgames.com.  

A Look-Back At Garena

Garena has been the foundation of League of Legends in the Southeast Asian region. For LoL’s initial launch in SEA back in 2010, Riot gave the publishing rights to Garena, a significant global online games developer, and publisher. Garena has elevated LoL and TFT, and in 2019, the game will mark its tenth anniversary.

Since then, Riot Games has introduced and independently published new video game franchises with corresponding esports leagues, including VALORANT and the VALORANT Champions Tour, League of Legends: Wild Rift, and Wild Rift esports. Riot Games has also increased the variety of its entertainment offerings with the release of the animated series Arcane and new EPs from virtual bands K/DA and Pentakill.

Kraynov told Yahoo Southeast Asia that Riot had only one game in their portfolio for a long time when asked why they took this decision almost ten years after gamers had requested it. It would only make sense to take all gamers immediately under their care given Riot’s expansion to five games, with more on the horizon.

“We are grateful for Garena’s partnership and publishing support over the past decade,” Kraynov said. “Their efforts have built an incredible community of LoL and TFT players across SEA, and the games’ success would have been impossible without them.”

“We were listening to those complaints. This decision has been more than ten years in the making, with plans of establishing offices in the APAC region,” said Kraynov in an exclusive interview.

He also said that the launch of VALORANT as a self-published game “was received well by players in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines”.

This was when Riot knew it was “the right time to own the publishing of League and TFT” in SEA.

“We would like to thank Riot and the League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics communities for their tremendous support and partnership in growing both games to the successes they are today in Southeast Asia and Taiwan,” said Kevin Huang, Regional Producer of League of Legends, Garena.

“We are honored to have worked together with Riot over the past decade to create the best possible experiences for players, and we wish the team every success in this next chapter.”

Garena will end its publishing services in January 2023.

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