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Riot Games Spots the Development of Streaming Platform

Riot Games has unexpectedly canceled the development of its internal streaming platform, Riot Esports Network (REN), after eight years. The platform, intended to rival Twitch for esports content, was initially created to let fans enjoy streaming. This was especially present in games like League of Legends and Valorant.

The decision to scrap REN comes as Riot Games undergoes significant restructuring, marked by substantial layoffs affecting 11% of its staff (530 employees). Cecilia D’Anastasio, a reputable gaming journalist, broke the news on Twitter, linking the cancellation to Riot’s recent layoffs.

Riot Games Cecilia


This move raises questions about the future of gaming-centric streaming platforms. What led to this decision after eight years of development, and how will it impact the esports viewing experience for Riot’s fanbase? The gaming community surely awaits further insights from Riot Games, hoping for clarity on their vision for esports and streaming.

John Needham’s Statement

Riot Games’ President of Esports, John Needham, shared insights into the decision to cancel the Riot Esports Network (REN) project. Initially aimed at revolutionizing esports broadcasting and competing with Twitch, the project was scrapped as Riot Games shifted its internal goals.

According to Needham:

“We were testing some watch platform ideas but opted to cancel our initiative REN last week.”

This change in direction contrasts with Riot’s previous enthusiasm, as Needham had discussed REN. In that post, he highlighted the challenges esports faces in generating broadcast licensing revenue compared to traditional sports.

Needham emphasized Riot’s commitment to positioning esports as a unique entertainment medium, separate from traditional sports. The cancellation of the REN project reflects Riot Games’ strategic shift in approaching broadcasting and revenue generation in the esports industry.

Project’s Plans and Expected Results

Riot Games’ ambitious plan, the Riot Esports Network (REN), aimed to bring all their esports titles together, offering bonuses for viewers and in-game purchases. Unfortunately, the project was canceled during its testing phase.

REN’s roots trace back to Riot’s 2021 acquisition of Kanga, a media startup with expertise in esports fan hubs, merchandising, and video content aggregation – aligning with REN’s goals.

Interestingly, journalist Jacob Wolf revealed that REN’s concept dates back to December 2016, linked to Riot’s potential $350 million deal with BAMTech Media, a company now owned by Disney.

Here’s the Twitter post about this:


Despite its early plans, REN faced delays and was eventually canceled during Riot’s restructuring on January 23. This period also saw the end of Riot Forge, a project connecting Riot Games with indie developers. As we explore REN’s demise, we ponder what impact it could have had on esports and how Riot Games will approach future ventures in the ever-changing gaming and streaming landscape.

All in all, REN was a promising project, but something went in the wrong direction. Now, players who love LoL and other Riot games can only hope for the best. This shows us the true face of eSports today, nothing is certain and everything can happen, even in the production phase.

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