If you are a player of Riot Games‘ products here in Southeast Asia, chances are, you are very familiar with Garena, the Singapore-based publisher that has helped Riot market and support its games in the region. It has been a fruitful partnership, to say the least, but that is set to change as Riot Games has now announced that it will begin self-publishing for Southeast Asia starting in January 2023, leaving Garena out of the picture.
As shared in a blog post, this move is to “make sure players in Southeast Asia have the same League and TFT experience as people who play our games all around the world.” While Riot is more than grateful to acknowledge the contributions of Garena, the growth and expansion of the company into a “multi-game studio” means it now has the capacity and the need to serve players in the region more intimately.
Riot definitely has had experience in this area, already self-publishing the likes of Valorant, Legends of Runeterra, and League of Legends: Wild Rift in the region. Now, both League of Legends and Teamfight Tactics will join the roster after years of success under Garena.
“Our new structure in Asia Pacific will see us expand our efforts in countries we already publish in like Japan and India. In addition, we are also in the process of establishing new local offices in key countries including the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia,” shared Riot. “Players in these countries can look forward to having a dedicated Riot office focused purely on creating hyper-local experiences by tailoring our games to audiences in each country and the region as a whole.”
New League and Teamfight Tactics servers across Southeast Asia (Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, and Vietnam) will be launched at the same time, with Garena servers going offline. Players will need to transition their accounts from Garena to Riot starting from 18 November, with a suit of in-game rewards awaiting them for the trouble.
There will also be some welcome events and local activities to celebrate the move. It is also good news to hear that players will have “access to Riot publishing services like localization, billing, and player support which will help to improve players’ experiences in impactful ways.”
On the esports front, Riot will continue to operate the Pacific Championship Series and will regain ownership and operations of the Vietnam Championship Series.