Explorative Examination of the Global Success of the Video Game League of Legends and the Extent to Which Consumers Are Influenced By Its Culture

Lara Bnayane & Rune Karsbæk Hülsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis aims to explore how the video game League of Legends acquired its global success in the video game industry, and to which extent its consumers are influenced by the game’s culture. The label ‘success’ is based on the game’s $1.7 billion revenue in 2016 and its 100 million monthly players. ‘Culture’ is defined by the shared values, norms, traditions, and beliefs of the game’s online community.
The game’s success was assessed through secondary data analysis, and by applying various marketing and strategy frameworks to examine the internal and external environment of League of Legends. The game’s cultural traits and its influence was analysed through relevant culture and social identity theory, as well as primary data collected via a questionnaire.
The success of League of Legends is evidently due to several elements: creating an uncontested market space with untapped demand; its popular free-to-play business model; and attaining first- mover advantages, which created barriers to imitation and market entry.
The culture stands out as very competitive and hostile. An emphasis on skill often cause hostility and verbal abuse between different identity groups provided by the game’s ranking system, which offers both individual identity and distancing of dissimilar players.

EducationsCand.ling.merc Erhvervssprog og International Erhvervskommunikation (Multikulturel Kommunikation i Organisationer), (Graduate Programme) Final ThesisMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages145
SupervisorsFumiko Kano Glückstad