Riot has been working on a card game like Legends of Runeterra for nine years

The LoL-themed CCG has been a long time coming.


Legends of Runeterra, Riot’s League of Legends-flavoured collectable card game, burst onto the scene this week, quickly becoming the most-viewed game on Twitch and earning praise from players. But while League fans only caught wind of the game after some trademark filings last year, it turns out Riot has been fiddling with the card games formula for almost as long as the company has existed – about nine years, in fact.

As our sister site The Loadout reports, Riot CEO Nicolo Laurent was asked about which of the company’s new games had been in development the longest during a live interview this past week.

Speaking with LeStream (and helpfully translated from French by Millenium), Laurent explains that out of Riot’s newly announced projects, it’s been the card game that’s been in the works the longest. “I’d say the first genre we tried to develop was the card game,” he explained. “We started on it really early, then we cancelled it, then we started again … That was the first game we worked on… from 2010.”

Here are some clips from the interview:

Naturally, this doesn’t mean that Legends of Runeterra has been in active development since shortly after the initial League of Legends launch. But it does give an indication of how long Riot has been eyeing the idea of expanding beyond the MOBA genre, and that the company has been thinking about online CCGs since well before Hearthstone hit it big.

Legends of Runeterra launched Wednesday as Riot celebrated the company’s ten-year anniversary, and Laurent says there are more new games on the way.

“We haven’t announced everything,” he said. “There are games in development that are much newer, trying to create new genres.”

Hopefully it won’t be nine years before we find out more about those. Check out our guide to Legends of Runeterra cards for a closer look at the project.