Tencent has on Tuesday opened up reservations for the mainland China beta tests of “League of Legends: Wild Rift,” the mobile version of the highly popular PC game, according to media outlet 36Kr.

Why it matters: League of Legends is one of the world’s most profitable titles with full year revenue of $1.4 billion globally in 2018. The launch of its mobile version may prove a major revenue driver for both Riot Games and its parent company Tencent, and extend the 10-year old game’s lifespan.

Details: League of Legends: Wild Rift will preserve the gameplay of the primary PC version but will be tweaked for mobile platforms.

  • Riot Games’ official website said the title will be released in 2020, though Tencent declined to comment on specific timing for beta testing and official launch.
  • Tencent’s reservation website crashed for a brief period on Tuesday morning.
  • Players who sign up for the beta testing will receive rewards such as limited-time access to all heroes and in-game experience boosts.
  • The new mobile version will not support cross-platform between mobile and PC, according to Riot Games’ website, as it may compromise the fairness of the game.
  • League of Legends: Wild Rift will also have redesigned character models, animation, and graphics.

Context: Formally released in 2009, League of Legends officially launched in China two years later.

  • The game had 8 million average daily peak concurrent players in August, according to statistics released by Riot Games.
  • Tencent and Riot Games had previously created demos for several prototypes of the mobile version.
  • Tencent’s mobile multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) smash hit title “Honour of Kings” borrowed heavily from League of Legends.

Tony Xu is Shanghai-based tech reporter. Connect with him via e-mail: tony.xu@technode.com

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