In a game played by millions around the world daily, Riot Games' League of Legends title is bound to feature a player base from all walks of life.
Short, tall, male, female, or non-binary, people can fall under any number of categories and as game developers, the aim is to cast as wide a net as possible to create a welcoming environment for all.
Over the course of the last week, Ryan "Reav3" Mireles, a Lead Gameplay Producer on the MOBA, shared some internal Riot data as it pertains to title's player base and their interests. Making this information public can not only help educate players within the game's community about their peers, but help provide context as to why Riot Games may do Y instead of Z.
In response to a Reddit post discussing the potential tease of an upcoming champion, Mireles was asked why the game's development team has put a greater emphasis on released female champions of late.
His answer was as follows:
"So a couple of years ago we looked at the overall diversity of our roster, and one of the things it showed was that we had like 60% male champs and 40% female champs, or something close to that. We feel long-term it's probably better to have something like 50/50 male and female champs, so we have been adding a bit more female champs than male champs on average, for the last few years. This is something we will likely continue until we are closer to 50/50 on the roster."
When asked to explain further why a player felt that Riot was "abandoning half of their player base" by making only female champions, Mireles shared some internal demographic information:
"We aren't abandoning half our player base by making more female Champions. Our data shows that female players primarily play female champions, in fact, it's something like 97% of female players only play female champions. Male players are evenly split between male and female champions, so Male players play 50/50 between male and female champions. If anything, whenever we make a male champion, we are abandoning most of our female players, since most of our female players won't play male champions at all."
To reinforce his claim, Mireles links to a word cloud from a 2017 survey that asked players what their favorite champions were. Unsurprisingly, the left image is the response from men which features a myriad of champions of all genders while the female response features predominately female champions.
Tim Rizzo is the editor and a reporter for Inven Global. He joined the company back in 2017.