Riot Games, creator of the hit MOBA League of Legends, recently made a controversial announcement regarding limited edition skins that celebrated holidays from December 2009 through October of 2011.
Due to the immense growth in the League of Legends community, Riot Games realized that only an extremely small percentage of the game’s players were able to use and enjoy the limited edition skins. They were faced with an interesting conundrum where they want to cater to the expanding player base, but they didn’t want to hurt their veteran consumers who had been investing in their game since 2009. How do you keep both parties happy? Here’s what Riot decided to do.
Skins should come back to benefit the masses.
This actually came as a shock to me. I’ve been playing long enough to have skins like Bowser Rammus, UFO Corki, and Urf Warwick so to see Riot re-release 34 skins that were promised to be “Limited Edition” it was quite surprising to me. This creates a win-win situation for two of the parties involved. This allows players who started playing after October 2011 to get these skins that were never available for sale to them. This also allows Riot to generate revenue without making a new product. We love Riot, we want Riot to do well and make us nice things. What better way to allow them the ability to create better things than to give them a bunch of money without stealing away any of their precious development time?
Legacy skin owners should not feel cheated or lied to.
With Riot Games making this announcement they definitely stepped on the toes of those that believed their skin was “Limited Edition” or “Vintage” or “Legacy”. Speaking with owners of these original skins I could easily detect animosity. They felt cheated, lied to, and deceived. What could Riot do to make this right? It’s hard to buy someone back after they feel like they were lied to. Riot went with a method that seemed fair and decided to do a 100% refund for all skin owners. If you bought any of the 34 skins returning to the store, you are receiving a bundle of free RP from Riot Games. A full refund can be considered generous, but is it enough?
On top of the refund Riot Games took it a step further by offering a Summoner Icon if you owned one of these “Legacy” skins. A Summoner Icon doesn’t carry any intrinsic value because they are not sold in the store. However, they do show the age of an account, letting other players know you were around for some of the original themed skin sales.
Riot Games also are working on an additional loading screen banner so if you play with the skins that you bought originally other players will see that your skin was an original. I would almost prefer the option to disable this so that I can see the full skin during loading screen, rather than a slightly covered version.
Which party is satisfied?
Now that we know who got what, we should consider if this was fair for players and Riot.