League of Legends: Facing the Future with a New Engine?

League of Legends: Facing the Future with a New Engine?

16. January 2024 by Valentin Pasetti

As we approach 2025, the gaming community is abuzz with speculation: Is League of Legends (LoL) set for a monumental transformation? This question gained traction following the announcement of SMITE 2, reigniting discussions about LoL’s potential shift to a new graphic engine.

The Persistent Engine of LoL

Since its inception, LoL has operated on the Source engine. Despite multiple facelifts in terms of champion redesigns, map updates, and effect enhancements, it hasn’t transitioned to a new engine. This persistence raises a crucial question: Why hasn’t Riot Games, the developer behind LoL, made the leap?


Graphic evolution

The Complexity of Transition

Riot Games acknowledged the need for a new engine in 2019. However, the complexity of such a transition has held them back. Compared to its competitors, LoL stands out as the only major MOBA not to upgrade its engine, with Dota 2 having made the shift back in 2015.

Economic Considerations

The primary dilemma for Riot is not the cost of the engine switch, but rather the economic impact on its player base. The challenge lies in transferring all the skins and in-game purchases to a new engine—a daunting task that could affect the game’s vast global player base.

The Potential of a LoL 2

If Riot were to embark on creating LoL 2 with a new engine, the potential is staggering. Inspired by the success of their projects like Arcane and collaborations with indie companies, a revamped LoL could captivate global attention, setting new standards in the MOBA genre.

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Riot’s Workforce Expansion

Currently, Riot is expanding its workforce, especially in software development and engineering. This expansion is a strong indicator of their preparation for a significant transition.

A Strategic Dilemma for Riot Games

As we stand on the cusp of 2025, all eyes are on Riot Games. Will they embrace a new era with a revamped engine, or will they continue on their current path? The answer to this question could redefine the landscape of MOBAs and gaming at large.