In December 2020, Riot's vice president of IP and entertainment Greg Street revealed, with absolutely no pomp or circumstances whatsoever, that the studio is working on a League of Legends MMO. Riot later confirmed his just-tweeted-it-out announcement, although it appeared to suggest that the project was still in the very early stages at that point, saying that Street "will be working on a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game."
Now we can get a somewhat closer look at what Riot has in store, courtesy of worldofruneterra.com, which leads to a recruiting website for Riot's MMO. It also confirms that the wheels are just starting to turn on development.
"No, you’re not dreaming, we’re working on an MMORPG based in the League universe!" it says. "We know MMOs take a lot of people to create, and we’ll need a pretty big raid team if we want to bring Runeterra to life. That's where you come in. We’ll periodically post new roles, but right now we don’t have any specific openings on the team—we’re just gearing up for the journey (and need to replace our greens first)."
Specifically, Riot is looking for applicants with experience in gameplay engineering, game and UX design, game art, and game production, and while "direct experience" with making MMOs is obviously a big plus, it's not an across-the-board requirement. Also, for the record, there's no indication as to whether the game will actually be called World of Runeterra, or if it's just a handy, MMO-like working title.
Either way, League of Legends fans are bound to be happy. The lore-heavy MOBA is a natural fit for a more exploratory, RPG-like experience, and as we noted when Street dropped the bomb, players have been demanding a League MMO for years. Street's statement was obviously legitimate, but seeing it laid out in black and white, right there on the Riot website, somehow makes it feel more real.
The League of Legends MMO is obviously a major step for Riot, which for most of its history has been a single-game studio, but it's not the only non-MOBA undertaking it currently has in the works. It's also muscled into the competitive FPS scene with Valorant, taken a run at card games with Legends of Runeterra, released the Teamfight Tactics autobattler, and has a singleplayer RPG and a fighting game currently codenamed Project L in the works as well.