A recent tweet from Greg Street, Executive Producer of Riot Games’ MMO project set within the Runeterra universe (the League of Legends world), has caused fans and the media to panic. He claims there’s “no guarantee” that this game will ever ship, but his intent with that statement isn’t what you might think.
Street is referring to the uncertainty of game development in general. His implication is that it’s never guaranteed that a game will make it out there, which should be clear since he specifically follows up by saying his team is “optimistic.” He goes on to say he’s been using phrases like “magnum opus,” but believes his team is largely responsible for the worlds, stories, and mechanics being crafted. Street even says this untitled MMO will be “a good final act,” and he’s “very okay” with it being the last major franchise he works on.
These don’t seem like the words of someone who’s claiming the game will never ship. Instead, it seems like the words of someone who understands that no project out there has a guarantee of shipping. Anything can happen, and there have even been cases of games being completely finished before getting canceled abruptly. Star Fox 2 was canceled at 95% completion, and Nintendo made the effort to finish it up even after the project was scrapped.
There is no guarantee this game will ship. We are optimistic, but you just never know until it does. However assuming it does, this will be the fourth major franchise I have worked on (AoE, WoW, LoL), and likely the last. And I am very okay with that. It will be a good final act.April 8, 2022
These things can happen for all kinds of reasons. In the case of Star Fox, Nintendo didn’t want to release a 3D game that utilized outdated technology and instead shifted focus towards a Star Fox game on the N64. When Street claims there’s “no guarantee,” this is likely the type of incident he’s referring to.
The Runeterra MMO will probably ship, so until we hear truly bad news other than a mature take from an experienced game developer, don’t get too worried about it. If Street has enough confidence in the project to refer to it as a “magnum opus,” it’ll likely be fine.
It’s also hard to imagine that Riot Games would let such a massive project like this die, especially since the company has successfully published an RPG, card game, and television series within the League of Legends world since then.