Riot Games will become the publisher of League of Legends and Team Fight Tactics in Southeast Asia for the first time, taking over from Garena.
Riot Games has taken over control of the publishing rights for League of Legends and Team Fight Tactics in Southeast Asia, taking publishing control away from Garena for the first time. It will be the first time the games have been published in the region without a third-party. The merge was announced on Riot’s official website on November 9th.
After 12 years of partnership, Riot Games will begin self publishing LoL and TFT in SEA from January 2023. Garena, who had published the series since 2009, as well as running the competitive scenes in the region, will relinquish control. Riot games will also take over control of the VCS, and continue operation of the PCS, the two major SEA LoL leagues.
What this means for SEA League of Legends players
For players in SEA, the change means that Garena users will need to transfer to a Riot Games account. With this transfer, they’ll also receive a free gift, and some yet to be revealed welcome events.
To ensure that players transfer and retain their existing account data in time, Riot and Garena are working closely on an account migration process that will open for all on November 18, 2022.
More details on the transfers are available on the official announcement page.
Is the loss of League of Legends Garena’s death knell?
Garena, a Singaporean organization, has been a publisher and distributor of games in the SEA region for over 12 years. However, many of its legacy and older franchises have now stopped operation. LoL competitor and Garena owned MOBA, Heroes of Newerth, closed its doors on June 20th, 2022. Meanwhile the company also ceased operations of Ring of Elysium in January 2022, and now LoL next year.
For many this is the sign that Garena is struggling, but that would be a mistake. Instead, the company has tilted to more recent and popular games in its lineup. League of Legends’ popularity has fallen in the region in recent years, and Garena’s focus has shifted to Arena of Valor, and many of Tencent’s more popular mobile games. There’s little financial gain in supporting a game with a declining player base in the region.
The transfer means that Riot Games will now be responsible for bringing League of Legends to Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand and Vietnam.