'League of Legends Project A': Release date, platforms & everything we know
League of Legends turned ten years old on October 15. During a hour-long live stream last week, Riot Games laid out its ambitious plans to expand the universe of the world’s most popular multiplayer online battle arena. Riot is looking to broaden its horizons with the announcement of eight new projects, including a team-based first-person shooter codenamed Project A.
The unexpected announcement positions Riot to take on Blizzard’s Overwatch, Respawn’s Apex Legends, and Valve’s Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Project A is still in the early stages of development, but Riot debuted a brief trailer on its progress as part of the League anniversary event.
At a first glance, Project A seems to be a fusion of Overwatch and CS:GO. Its cast of characters will each tout their own unique abilities, like the heroes in Overwatch, but players will be able to choose their own weapon loadouts in a similar fashion to CS:GO. Executive Producer Anna Donlon described it as intense, fast-paced experience.
“Project A is out character-based tactical shooter,” she said. “It’s competitive, it has precise gunplay, it’s set on a beautiful near-future Earth, and it has a lethal cast of characters.”
Here’s everything Riot has revealed about Project A so far.
When is the Project A release date?
Riot only just revealed the existence of Project A and has yet to reveal when it could be released. But the game’s landing page provides hints about when gamers can expect to hear updates on its development.
“Follow us on Twitter to be the first to hear new information in 2020,” it states.
Next year will almost certainly bring new gameplay demonstrations with the likelihood of a title announcement, character reveals, and a timeline for release. But it’s unclear if the game will be ready for launch in 2020. It’s possible the developer will want to keep the focus for 2020 on the console and mobile release of League of Legends: Wild Rift, a streamlined version of the core MOBA game.
How much will Project A cost?
There hasn’t been any word about how much Project A might cost, but Riot could follow the same free-to-play strategy that propelled League of Legends to massive popularity. The game can be played at the highest level without paying a cent, though players have the options to individually purchase new characters and aesthetic items.
Project A could opt to monetize through microtransactions with character and gun skins, as well as expansions. Donlon said Riot was “in this for years and years to come” suggesting the game will come with seasonal content drops, which might cost money to access.
Free-to-play models have worked well for Fortnite and Apex Legends as well, and would likely boost Project A’s popularity by making it accessible to more gamers.
What will Project A’s gameplay be like?
Riot’s Project A video suggests the main game mode will consist of multiple rounds between two teams of five players. Gamers appear to be able to choose their weaponry before each round with during a CS:GO-esque loadout menu.
The in-game footage showed off lightning-fast time-to-kill (TTK), meaning it only take a few well-placed shots to take out opponents. This suggests players will need to be armed with thorough knowledge of the map in order to succeed. Characters will have unique abilities to better maneuver through the terrain and block enemies’ lines of sight.
The trailer showed off three unnamed characters’ skills: an assassin’s knife-throwing ability, a healer’s resurrection magic, and a lot of smoke clouds and barriers.
The Assassin is capable of throwing smoke bombs, jumping higher than other characters, and throwing lethal knives that can one-shot opponents.
The Healer can erect a breakable wall of ice for cover as they resurrect a fallen teammate.
A third character will rely on green smoke clouds, which might be poisons and obscure line of sight to confuse and split up the opposing team.
Project A could be a cross-platform hit like Fortnite
The trailer also revealed that Project A will run on the Unreal Engine, the same technology that makes Fortnite playable across numerous platforms.
The game engine is open-source and known for its reliable rendering tech, which lets it run consistently across PC, consoles, and mobile platforms. These two perks make it a go-to choice for developers who want to let as many people as possible play a game, regardless of their hardware.
That means Project A might be released on PC, consoles, iOS, and Android.
Cheating in Project A won’t be an easy task
Riot also touted during the Project A reveal that plans to do everything in its power to prevent cheating and hacking.
“From day one, we have put anti-cheat at the forefront of our development,” said Donlon. “We will do whatever it takes to preserve the integrity of your matches.
The trailer showed how Project A will be able to detect cheating software, like wall hacks, automatically terminating matches and punishing cheaters.
This suggests the game will heavily revolve around a competitive ranking system, so League fans who are also FPS fans will want to keep an eye on one of Riot’s most ambitious announcements to date.
Project A is in the early stages of development and does not yet have a release date.