Despite League of Legends'
mind-boggling 67 million players and $624 million in revenue through 2013, it's not doing as well as it should be, at least according to Ubisoft Blue Byte's Teut Weidemann
, who has been studying the game first-hand in conjunction with behind-the-scenes data.
Weidemann argues that League of Legends'
model has three major flaws: It gives too much away for free, it keeps releasing overpowered champions that are nerfed later after purchase, and it has a terrible 3.75% conversion rate from free to paying customers.
Why is 3.75% bad? Weidemann explains: "Usually, conversion rates for client-based games is between 15 and 25 percent. World of Tanks
has 30 percent. It could afford to have one-third of the customer base and have the same amount of money as League of Legends
." He believes the only reason Riot
is staying afloat is through the studio's extensive playerbase, and as such smaller games should steer clear of the same model.