League of Legends has been around for almost 13 years now. Ever since it was released, it has maintained a primary “selling-point” – and that is being free. People always wonder how much a game costs, and it is one of the main things that may or may not draw them into a product.
For a long time, the gaming industry has been oversaturated with free-to-play games that do turn out not to be so. This article will look over some of them and then compare them with League of Legends before drawing our conclusions.
It would be easy to answer the topic question bluntly, but we want to look into more of the intricacies of what it means to be a genuine “free” game.
So, let’s begin, shall we?
The Bad Apples
Around the infinitely vast internet space, you will come across hundreds, thousands, and likely even more “free-to-play” video games. This is especially prominent in the mobile gaming industry, where ads play a more prominent role and where this so-called “freeness” can be exploited.
For as long as the world has existed, people have loved free stuff. I mean, what’s better than getting a quality product and experience for nothing in return. It is a lucrative tactic of baiting people into playing something, and most will fall for it.
Only those that have trained their senses and know their way around the internet will be immune to these baits. However, the great majority of people are pretty inexperienced in this regard and will thus fall for it.
Unfortunately, most if not all of these video games turn out to be total scams. They are “free-to-play” on paper, i.e., they require no entry payment to start with. As the game goes on, you notice more and more ways of spending money on the game.
This is usually reflected in purchasing in-game items that more often than not offer some gameplay boosts. As you continue to play these games without spending a dime, you will also come to notice that the other players are insanely more powerful than you are.
Their only way of achieving this advantage could have been spending money, and that’s where the line is drawn. If a game contains means of empowerment that are procured through real-life assets – it is no longer a free-to-play game. It becomes something known as a “pay-to-win” scheme.
These schemes can get so bad that people can even label some of these games as “pay-to-play,” despite being free to download. This is pretty obvious among most games of this type, but some can pull you in quite a bit beforehand.
An excellent example of this is Clash of Clans which has pulled millions of players in and continues to do so. If you want to play at all in any casual capacity, you’re doomed from the start.
Also read: How to Hide HUD in League Replay?
The League Case
So, you might be asking yourself – how does League of Legends fare in this regard? Well, let’s delve deeper into that.
League of Legends has been, is, and will continue to be – a free-to-play game. League of Legends diverges from these so-called free games because it doesn’t have any pay-to-win or pay-to-play mechanics sinisterly built into its gameplay loop.
It is a game where each player has an equal ground. Advantages and disadvantages are achieved only through skill and knowledge of the game. The latter is way more important than people give it credit – so keep around our website to keep yourself on top.
However, there are some ways in which League of Legends has crossed the line. This has especially been true in the past few Seasons where Riot’s increasing monetary hunger has been showing.
Through new Champion releases, new games, and new anime series, League of Legends has found a way of exploiting the player base. By overtuning and overloading new, fresh and popular releases, Riot gives said Champions much more attention than they deserve.
This is, of course, done for the sake of selling skins. Every time a new Champion releases, they do so alongside a new skin. These skins are Riot’s hottest source of income at those times, and artificially making Champions popular has been their schtick for the past few years now.
It is a sad reflection and fact that Riot has resorted to this approach for the sole reason of making more money. Of course, the community has always negatively reacted to these occurrences and will continue to do so.
Riot is still not willing to admit to doing this, even going as far as saying that they do not believe that their Champions have overloaded kits. I don’t know who they’re trying to fool, but I’m confident it isn’t the players who are dealing with the likes of Kai’Sa, Viego, and Aphelios daily.
Also read: How To Hide HUD in League Replay?
At the end of the day, the answer is simple and (almost) entirely – yes. League of Legends is free. It is free to download to play, and you can freely reach the highest ranks possible. You can be a Challenger-level player without spending a dime.
However, your rise to greatness might be occasionally foiled by some new Champion release or rework. These are also likely to be followed by some new hit series that Riot has developed. The more popularity garnered by said Champions, the longer they will be kept powerful by Riot. Those skins aren’t going to sell themselves.
As long as this practice persists, we cannot say that 100% League of Legends is a free game. But it does fulfill all of the other parameters, and this one can be forgiven in some capacity.
Remember to seethe around the subreddits whenever Riot does something like this. It is our only way of making them stop.
I hope you’ve found this list informative and fun to read, and I wish you all the best on the Summoner’s Rift!