League of Legends Developer Interview
League of Legends developer, Eduardo Cortejoso, in a recent interview with Polygon, stated that the Arena mode was an initiative to rebuild player trust after a challenging period for League of Legends. He further shared their plans to release more limited-time modes in the future.
The Arena Mode
The Arena mode of League of Legends, though short-lived, was a fun alternative that brought variety to the popular competitive multiplayer game. This mode offered a break from the standard competitive games of Summoner’s Rift, making room for shorter and more digestible matches, allowing players to quickly queue games with friends.
Rebuilding Player Trust
Cortejoso further revealed that the dev team viewed League as going through a rough patch. They believed the Arena mode would create an opportunity to rebuild player trust. As part of this effort, Riot has moved away from judging a mode's success solely based on metrics and profits, focusing primarily on delivering a fun gaming experience.
Challenges Faced in 2023
League had a tough run in 2023 with issues such as balance changes not well-received by some players, declining viewership in the esports scene, and a cyber attack that affected the patch release schedule. In addition to these issues, recent monetization efforts, like the '$200' Jhin skin combined with the underwhelming return of the Blue Essence Emporium, further rubbed the players the wrong way.
Arena Mode: Success and Return
The Arena mode, however, was well received before its discontinuation and is expected to return in December. Cortejoso emphasized the developers' commitment to serving underrepresented audiences or unmet needs with this mode. Highlighting the element of randomness in Arena mode, he stated that this was an important feature that maintained freshness and casualness within the game, making many players miss it and recognize it as one of the best developments in League of Legends.
Finally, he ended by saying that the DEV team is looking forward to learning throughout the next few years and has plans to release more modes. As Nexus Blitz is making a comeback in October and Arena is being reworked for its December return, players are eager to see what League’s developers have planned for 2024.