Video game movie adaptations very rarely do they work the way gamers hope, and often the magic of what makes us love certain titles gets lost in translation. Riot Games has released animated shorts in the past with impressive cinematic effect, so it shouldn't be that surprising that players have brought up the possibility of League of Legends transcending the MOBA medium and moving into a larger space. In a recent Q&A with fans during their Ask Riot segment, the studio gave a firm answer on the likelihood of seeing our favourite champions on the big screen.
Will you ever make a League of Legends movie? Or maybe long cinematic episodes?
"We dream of films set in League’s universe and seeing our favorite champions come to life in movie theaters, but the track record on video game movies is a humbling lesson. For the most part, they aren’t great. And while the geek in us would love to rush into moviemaking, it’s definitely not something we should rush into.
That’s not to say that we aren’t exploring. Cinematic storytelling just requires different muscles than storytelling for games, so we’re working on building those muscles and learning as we go. We have a ton of talented folks actively experimenting with different storytelling formats, and it’s definitely a hope that someday we’ll see the fruits of that experimentation on the big screen (or the small screen, or wherever it makes the most sense). We’re also looking at ways to better share all of the stories we’ve already told and will continue to tell, like with the newly-launched Universe."
Riot makes a good point. More often than not, these sort of leaps end in failure. That's not to say it's a complete impossibility, but the challenge is a great one. The age old question of "we can, but should we?" comes into play, and the team seems to be taking on a very realistic approach to the posed question.
Riot then added:
"What’s most important to us is that any extension of League into other mediums feels authentic to the source and respectful of the passion we all share for the game and its universe. It’s a big challenge, but we think we can get there if we invest the time in learning how to do it right."
The Overwatch animated shorts seem to have a really high success rate, perhaps they will continue to dive into that area of media even more so than in the past to satiate player curiousity.