In 2020, Riot Games confirmed it was making an MMO when the project’s executive producer, Greg Street, casually tweeted that he was leading the project. This kind of low-key game announcement is a small trend right now – Blizzard recently announced a survival game – but it also turns out that Street is just a fairly unguarded tweeter. Case in point: Riot’s PR department probably wouldn’t want to say, unprompted, that the release of the studio’s big MMO isn’t guaranteed, but that’s something. The street tweeted At the beginning of April.
In a series of follow-up messages Today, Street said his comment was misinterpreted by “some gamers and media” to mean the MMO’s development was going badly. In fact, “it’s going really well,” says Street. When he said there was “no guarantee” it would come out, he meant it in the sense that nothing in life is guaranteed.
“There is no guarantee that a game in this industry will deliver,” Street tweeted today. “Anyone making that promise is basically saying they’ll deliver even if the game is disappointing. We won’t deliver a disappointing game.”
Street added that his team “also won’t be doing a crunch just to make sure the game is as good as it can be,” and that Riot will “absolutely” release an MMO at some point, even if their MMO isn’t. never delivered (but to be clear, it fits very well).
“Maybe I’m the wrong leader, or this is the wrong team, or our design is wrong,” Street said. “But the company will continue until the game lives up to your expectations.”
A few weeks ago, I made a tweet where I intended to emphasize how committed I was to this MMO. Some gamers and media latched onto the “might never ship” part and extrapolated that development wasn’t going well. Spoiler: it’s going well. This team is so stacked.April 20, 2022
Unless we count Street’s hypothetical expressions of self-doubt, there’s no evidence Riot’s MMO is in bad shape. We really don’t know much about him or his development. And, of course, what he says is true. Street worked at Blizzard during development of Titan, the MMO that morphed into Overwatch after being canceled in 2014, so he has first-hand knowledge of how plans may change in the gaming industry.
Still, saying “maybe I’m not the right leader” when you have no intention of quitting being the leader seems a little preemptive defensively. I think I said the same thing after I was asked to pick a restaurant for the band.
Maybe Street is just being candid, though. By his own admission, he like to talk. That’s true when he’s under pressure to speak, like when his name came up in connection with allegations about former Blizzard colleagues and he tweeted about it (actually, as far as we understand). And that’s true when he had a completely spontaneous thought, like when he realized last year that people might not like his new MMO and he tweeted about it. The guy tweets. Many of us have been there.
A street tweet that I think we can easily take at face value came in January of this year, when he said that the first playtest for Riot’s MMO “won’t be soon”. The project was hinted at as far back as 2018, but wasn’t confirmed until two years ago, and MMOs aren’t known for being lightweight projects. New World came out five years after Amazon first announced it, for example, so I don’t expect to be playing the Riot stuff for at least a few more years.
However, we could learn more about it from a Street tweet at any time, which makes the project feel pleasantly laid back and unpredictable, as if it were a small indie effort. I wonder if Street will really decide not to ship the game if they find it really “disappointing”. I suspect it won’t come to that, but the future is unknowable.