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League of Legends and Valorant developer Riot Games has acquired Wargaming’s Sydney studio. The newly rebranded Riot Sydney will leverage the development team’s expertise in live service games infrastructure.
Riot focuses on live service titles, so an acquisition from a developer with a similar free-to-play model makes sense. Wargaming is known for its competitive war vehicle combat MMOs like World of Tanks and World of Warships. The Sydney studio’s experience developing for live service titles will help Riot continue delivering consistent content to fans.
Wargaming originally acquired the Sydney studio in 2012 — known then as BigWorld Technology. The company created a widely used development tool suite for MMOs. Before its acquisition, Bigworld Technology powered 30-plus MMOs simultaneously — an impressive feat in 2012. The company even held a Guinness World Record for its MMO infrastructure. While Wargaming will continue to own and use BigWorld Technology, the development team from the Sydney studio will join Riot.
“We are really excited to bring these talented developers and teams to Riot,” said Marc Merrill, co founder and president of Riot Games, in a press release. “The Rioters that have had the opportunity to work with members of the Sydney team are confident not only in the tech they’ve built over the years but, more importantly, in the people who’ve built it. Naz (Naresh Hirani, Head of Development, Riot Sydney) and the dev teams at the studio have a long history of working in ways that will complement Riot’s ability to deliver value to our players and we really look forward to collaborating with them.”
While the development team’s live service expertise is top of mind, Riot could be hinting at bigger plans. In addition to their development tools and servers, Riot Sydney has worked on R&D projects and prototypes for new game features, add-ons and console ports.
Riot Games has not published League of Legends or Valorant on console.
Prior to the acquisition Wargaming Sydney was one of the largest AAA game studios in Australia. However, Riot only acquired the development staff, not the publishing team. It is unclear if this staff split will affect this ranking.