Riot tried something different earlier in 2020 — a huge crossover Spirit Blossom event between League of Legends, Legends of Runeterra, and even a bit of love for Valorant. It was a raving success across all titles, and the developers are already looking into the next one.
To say Riot have stepped up their game with events in 2020 is an understatement. It’s seemingly like one event ends, then the next one starts. New skins, new challenges, prestige rewards — the list goes on.
While there might not be unique game modes like Odyssey anymore, there’s still a lot of new content to consume. They have even put in rotating game modes like URF, One For All, and Nexus Blitz in lieu of the missing unique modes.
Spirit Blossom was the peak of this. The month-long event didn’t just give League players something to look forward to, but players across all Riot IP. There was a Spirit Blossom event for Legends of Runeterra, and even Valorant players got the Sakura skin set.
It also showed, to Riot, that they didn’t need to do in-game experiences to please the player base. Out of game moments where players can get to know their favorite champions deeper were also loved.
“We also created an out of game experience, Spirit Bonds, that allowed you to engage deeply with the narrative of your favorite champs. Whether it was getting to know Lamb and Wolf better, or ‘silently’ hoping that Cassiopeia would crush your bones, we saw a huge positive response to this system,” events product lead ‘Bellissimoh’ said in a September 10 dev post.
These major events obviously take time. Riot admitted that Spirit Blossom took nearly a full year to produce, utilizing all arms of the development team.
Span this across games, and it’s almost impossible to replicate this every time. However, they are committed to doing more crossover events with League of Legends, Teamfight Tactics, Valorant, and Legends of Runeterra.
2020 has been a year, but the State of Skins and Events has never looked brighter!
? 120+ skins scheduled to ship
❤️ Showed low play rate champs love
? Raised the bar on events
— League of Legends (@LeagueOfLegends) September 10, 2020
“While it’s clear that players would like more events of this caliber, the reality is that Spirit Blossom took almost a full year to produce, and coordinating such a massive event across not only League, but other game teams (like Legends of Runeterra) can’t be done for every event.
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“We’re already planning and plotting on how we can deliver another cross-game event of this size, so stay tuned for more details as they become available.”
The average event “won’t be able to reach the same bar” as Spirit Blossom, but Riot is making sure they don’t go backwards. They are also committing to a full restructure of the event pass system in 2021 to make content more accessible.
“We are looking to make significant adjustments to the way you earn content from events next year. Our goals for this redesign are to reduce the complexity of the system and create a more guided and rewarding experience without completely removing your ability to make choices.”