Jin Oh Riot Games — From Games to Culture: “League of Legends: The Orchestra”
In Worldwide Publishing (WWP) at Riot, we believe that publishing advances player culture. We want gaming to be a lifestyle choice; our goals go far beyond simply getting games into the hands of players.
One of the most critical paths to achieving this requires we have a true understanding of our audience: players. Players must know, and feel, that we understand them and their cultures, no matter where they live around the globe. Riot’s locally empowered teams exist to maximize the resonance of their experiences by building relationships that are deep and enduring.
In fact, the origin of the word “resonance” comes from music. We like this word at Riot because it speaks to the transition from a mere sound into a musical note, from static into beauty. When we go to work every day, we’re not looking to make a distraction or a toy: we’re here to make art, to make space for players to perform in their own unique style and be rewarded for it. And a fundamental part of that art is the music we craft, tailored to each character with detail and passion.
One of the amazing things about music is that it can be so transformed by its context. When you hear it in the game, it means one thing. When you’re humming the same theme by yourself, it takes on a different meaning, a different weight. And if you put that same theme in one of the world’s great concert halls, performed by one of its great orchestras, it gains a majesty and a power you can find nowhere else. We know our music has the potential to thrive in that kind of space. So we made a choice to bring that potential to life by creating an event entirely dedicated to our music, called League of Legends: The Orchestra.
The KBS Symphony Orchestra, which is the leading symphony orchestra in Korea, will bring theme music from the game to life on stage along with the Seoul Metropolitan Youth Traditional Music Orchestra. All of this will take place at the most prestigious stage in the country, the Sejong Center in Seoul, considered by many to be the Carnegie Hall of Korea. This will mark the very first time that the Sejong Center will present a show with music from a video game. That’s what we mean when we say we want to advance player culture: we want to normalize our art in traditional spaces, to show that what we make is every bit as worthy as the classics are.
As a Korean citizen, I am incredibly proud to see our games come to life in such an impactful and creative way. Riot’s support of our country’s cultural community feels both humbling and full-circle for me, having helped to establish Riot’s Korean presence in 2011. This celebration of LoL’s music serves as a reminder of just how powerful our local teams are: their dedication to building local relationships allows player culture to flourish far beyond our games.