League of Legends new champion teaser “Ivern” gets 7+ million views
Published on Oct 27, 2016
The brief was to introduce a new in-game character to the player base of the most popular PC game in the world. No biggie.
The online video game League of Legends, by Riot Games, attracts a staggering 27 million daily players.
Jumbla recently had the huge privilege of collaborating with Riot to tease the new playable character (or, “champion”): Ivern, the Green Father.
The hard work of our collaboration has paid off, with the clip – at last count – receiving more than 5 million views on Facebook and 2.7 million views on YouTube.
While Jumbla has worked on various projects for Riot Games in the past, relating to the Oceanic e-sports scene, this is the first project geared towards an international audience and the first to involve direct liaison with the company’s US headquarters.
The stat the games company itself was most impressed by was in fact the 36 thousand shares on Facebook, as this is generally the best indication of audiences’ engagement with the content – that is, how entertaining they found it.
Riot supplied the artwork for this clip – a large image file mapping out the whole scene. Our creative director Cal and animator Josh spent about a month separating all the components, making it move and adding effects. At the heart of this project, was telling a story without giving away too much.
For our creative Josh, this project was a dream come true.
“Adding to the fact that videogames are my life, this is the single biggest job I’ve worked on. It’s also the most fun I’ve ever had at work and the job most relevant to my interests – encompassing things like fantasy and digital painting. I feel really fortunate that Riot chose Jumbla to introduce the world to Ivern… and that Jumbla chose me to help with this project.”
But, there’s a catch. Josh admits he’s never actually played League of Legends before, as he was loyal to another multiplayer online strategy game.
“The game I played is considered by many to be the ‘rival’ to League of Legends. I wanted so much to be able to tell all my gamer friends that I was working on this project, but in a way it was a double-edged sword. They’d be excited for me, but no doubt they would also laugh at the fact that I was “courting the enemy” – so to speak!”
Just as well, for that entire month Josh couldn’t tell his friends – because everything to do with Ivern had to be kept strictly confidential until well after the champion launch.
“It was definitely hard going to work every day to chip away at my dream project, and having to keep my excitement within these walls,” he says. But, the excitement didn’t end when the project was completed.
“The day of the launch was exciting – every time I hit F5 to refresh the page, the views would jump up by hundreds of thousands at a time. It was incredible to think millions of people were seeing the work that we’d been doing.”
“Reading the comments was amazing too – everything was trying to guess what all the various components represented, and what that said about what this mysterious champion might be capable of.”
So – is Josh now a League of Legends player?
“I haven’t jumped into it yet, but I think – given the circumstances – it’s time I reconsidered. I’ve come to realise how incredible Riot Games is as a company. In our video calls to them, you could absolutely sense their passion in every word they spoke,” he says.
“They were so meticulous, in a good way. You realise that every tiny facet of animation is there for a reason – it’s been thought about, it’s not there by accident. If this level of care and attention is applied to every champion, every ability, every element of the game – then the game must be absolutely incredible.”
We asked Josh what his friends thought, now that he’s spilled the beans about having done a League of Legends job.
“Many of them feel like I’ve betrayed them and aren’t talking to me for now, but that’s OK – I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to convince them to join me on the other side soon enough.”