Riot Games invests in Aim Lab maker to build on mobile targets


Riot Games invests in Aim Lab maker to build on mobile targets

Placeholder when loading item promotions

Riot Games, the publisher of video games like League of Legends and Valorant, has acquired a minority stake in Aim Lab developer Statespace, the two companies announced Wednesday. With the move, Aim Lab, the free virtual shooting range, will be named the official training platform for “Valorant,” integrating in-game weapons, maps, and physics into the training app. Riot also said it intends to develop “Valorant” coaching and scouting tools in partnership with Statespace.

But the ambitions of the two companies go even further. Jake Perlman-Garr, global head of corporate development at Riot Games, noted the possibility of expanding Aim Lab’s offerings to meet the needs of fans of Riot’s other games, including those on other platforms.

“We have a number of MOBAs — ‘Wild Rift’ on mobile, ‘League of Legends’ on desktop — and it would be great to see if some of the other offerings Statespace is investigating would also be appropriate for these communities.” said Perlman-Garr.

Aim Lab isn’t currently available on mobile, but during an interview with The Washington Post, Statespace CEO Wayne Mackey raised his phone — with Aim Lab on it — in the frame of the Zoom call. Mackey said a mobile release of Aim Lab is imminent.

“We’re releasing Aim Lab Mobile next month,” Mackey said. “It’s ready to go.”

Aim Lab is the virtual gym that all kids attend. It wants to be more.

Riot and Statespace declined to share financial details about the transaction between the two companies. The partnership, Mackey said, would give Statespace more leeway to design new offerings for players, rather than just making tweaks to features that already exist.

“We’re dedicated to truly reducing the friction between playing the game you love and making the game you love better,” said Mackey.

As hypothetical examples of what that might look like, he described a player having the opportunity to jump into a coaching or gameplay review session immediately after losing a “Valorant” match, or having the same player for that Training is rewarded in a way that is reflected in the game client.

In April, Riot announced plans to introduce a new competitive game mode for Valorant that could serve as a gateway for players to enter the game’s esports scene. When asked about possible synergies between Aim Lab’s scouting ambitions and the upcoming competitive mode, Mackey declined to give specifics, but said, “Your intuition is spot on.”

“When we think of scouting, we tend to think of the social connections of people you want to play with and would like to play with, both on a professional and personal level, and how do we bring that together?” said Mackey. “What we were looking at [with respect to scouting tools] is like a first productization of these ideas and the research that we have been doing for probably two years.”

In the ‘League of Legends’ studio’s plans to dominate your smartphone

A direct integration of Aim Lab into the “Valorant” client is not planned. Mackey also said the agreement with Riot would not change the experience of players coming to Aim Lab to warm up for other games like Rainbow Six Siege, nor would it divert resources from Statespace’s healthcare and research work.

“If [this partnership] One day Ubisoft, another great partner of ours, may decide, oh, we can go deeper too [with Aim Lab]I think in a way, selfishly, let’s hope that happens,” Mackey said.

Aim Lab has been floating in Valorant’s orbit since the game launched in 2020. Aim Lab has hosted esports-themed “Valorant” challenges, and official match broadcasts often feature advertisements for the training software – particularly the in-game training replicas of existing maps. The two companies have also teamed up to promote Riot’s Netflix show Arcane by setting up a limited-time shooting gallery that resembles a setting from the animated series.

In discussing the deal, both Perlman-Garr and Mackey simply referred to the announcement as the culmination of a relationship that had already been fruitful for both parties.

“I think this is an example of the kind of value we can add when we have a lot of expertise alongside something like simple capital,” Perlman-Garr said of Riot’s involvement. “We have five major titles coming to market and I’m sure there are more in the pipeline. So I think when it comes to our differentiation from other people in the market [we can] to deepen a partnership around one of our games and to help that product succeed or achieve goals it probably could not achieve without our partnership.”

You May Also Like