League of Legends digital card game announced because why not

(Image credit: Riot Games)

The leaks were true: League of Legends is getting a spin-off digital card game called Legends of Runeterra. Though rumors were spreading earlier today, Riot Games officially announced the game during its tenth anniversary celebration livestream as part of a sweeping look at the past, present, and future of League of Legends.

Though details are scarce, what we do know is that Legends of Runeterra is a Hearthstone-style card game that wants to be more accessible and steer clear of the frustrating microtransactions that make games like Magic and Hearthstone so painfully expensive. For example, players can buy any card directly rather than shell out for randomized booster packs just hoping to get the right card. Those who opt not to pay can still earn cards through regular play, Riot says.

As you would expect, Runeterra's cards are based on Leagues 140-and-growing champions. Though Riot didn't go into great detail over how Legends of Runeterra actually plays, we did get an opportunity to play a special demo version days earlier and you can read our impressions here.

Honestly though, I'm kind of excited to see Riot's take on card games. Teamfight Tactics, its autochess clone, is easily my favorite of the genre because it elegantly distills autochess into something less daunting and complex, and I'd like to see another card game that isn't Hearthstone try and occupy that space.

Legends of Runeterra will launch some time in 2020 but pre-registration is open now for both its mobile and PC versions. If you want access to the five day demo, you can head to playruneterra.com to register. 

Steven Messner

With over 7 years of experience with in-depth feature reporting, Steven's mission is to chronicle the fascinating ways that games intersect our lives. Whether it's colossal in-game wars in an MMO, or long-haul truckers who turn to games to protect them from the loneliness of the open road, Steven tries to unearth PC gaming's greatest untold stories. His love of PC gaming started extremely early. Without money to spend, he spent an entire day watching the progress bar on a 25mb download of the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 demo that he then played for at least a hundred hours. It was a good demo.