Riot Cactopus shows off 5 ways to successfully announce risky or controversial games

Riot's communications lead has some tips for anyone who wants to unveil a new title.

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Riot Games’ rapid-fire game reveals during League of Legends’ 10-year anniversary stream shocked and invigorated many from the community. The stream was undeniably effective for several reasons, as explained today by lead Ryan “Riot Cactopus” Rigney, who shared five strategies for revealing new titles that worked for the League developer.

The first tactic Riot used was for the upcoming Teamfight Tactics game mode, which was clearly inspired by Dota AutoChess. Titled ‘Own Your Bulls**t,’ Cactopus said that it was important for the developers to name the rival game and admit that some of the ideas for TFT were because of Auto Chess. As a result, people liked how straightforward Riot was and how it remained honest about where the inspiration came from.

Using memes is another tactic that Riot used, especially for the mobile TFT app that will be releasing this year. It’s important for companies to connect with their audiences through these mediums; by referencing the infamous “Don’t you guys have phones?” line from Blizzard, they connected with their key demographic and built more hype for the game.

A third strategy Riot Cactopus explained was to show your own passion for the work your team has done. For example, the team behind the new League mobile app, Wild Rift, spent a ton of blood, sweat, and tears to make the game look amazing. This is why Riot showed a montage of the animations during the stream.

“People are more likely to respect the thing you’re making when it’s clear YOU respect it,” Cactopus said. “When you made something look good just for the sake of it looking good, there’s integrity and honor in that. People dig that stuff. So show it.”

Another way to reveal a new game is to surprise and delight all of your core audiences. Cactopus said that during the 10-year anniversary, they decided to reveal all four new games at once because, this way, everyone will be excited by at least one of those titles. It felt like Riot was making something for everyone, which is why the reveal video had such a great reception.

Ultimately, the way Riot announced all of its games really hit the reveals out of the park. The team thought out all the possibilities of how the audience would react to these reveals and took plenty of risks along the way. Other companies could do well with taking some of this advice to heart when thinking of presenting a new title to the world in the future.