Cross-branded marketing material is a surefire way of making it known that your brand has reached a new level in its popularity and is ready to bring in an all new audience. This is where Riot Games is with League of Legends, with the series now moving into the realm of comic books.
In a press release, Marvel announced that there will be a comic book line from Marvel Comics based on League of Legends. The series will make its initial debut in May of 2019 as a full-length series based on the popular MOBA game. The monthly outing will then continue to roll out throughout 2019, leading up to the availability of a digital collection that will be available in December.
The first issue will start with the character Ashe, who is a DPS archer within the MOBA. She’s known as a Frost Archer, and will be spotlighted with a backstory on how she has to deal with being the leader of the people of Runeterra while also attempting to live up to the lofty expectations set upon her. It’s the typical coming of age story, just with magic, frosty arrows, and a lot of otherworldly action.
It wasn’t said exactly what will follow up on Ashe’s story, but it sounds like it might be an anthology series that follows the different characters from Riot Games’ MOBA as they each deal with their own personal grievances, plights, and vices spanning the very large scale world.
Riot recently made waves in the pop-media space when the company’s virtual band had a viral hit single based on the game, as reported by The Verge.
The addition of the comic book would further help cement the pollination of the brand outside of the realm of gaming, where it’s become rather saturated since releasing back in 2009.
The eSports scene has also blossomed for League of Legends over the years, with the game garnering massive numbers on streaming services like Twitch.tv or YouTube, and the payouts being rather massive.
However, the brand hasn’t made its way to the top without some form of being sullied under controversy. During the past year Riot Games has found itself in the hot seat of media discussion after allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment began to surface regarding the corporate culture at Riot Games.
The company vowed to change its ways after apologizing to the community, and the studio has now been on the path to redemption. At this year’s PAX West Riot attempted to host some workshops to help bring in more game developers and gamers who were interested in game development. The studio also started a new division to help with cultivating a corporate ecosystem built around diversity and inclusion, but that didn’t stop some employees from suing the company. Whether or not we’ll see any of the culture-change taking effect in the actual League of Legends comics remains to be seen, but Riot is trying.
It’s also interesting because DC is also tapping video games for comic books, recently announcing that Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham Knight would be getting the comic book treatment. So DC and Marvel are still butting heads even when it comes to adapting video game properties into the realm of comic books and graphic novels.