In recent years, the video game industry has experienced an explosive growth. As the multi-billion entertainment industry is continuously rising, more ways are unfolding as to how products are being marketed. League of Legends, a multiplayer online game released in 2009 by American video game developer Riot Games, has become a global phenomenon. With its commercial success, additional content such as music videos featuring the game’s characters and a Netflix TV show based on the game were released to both fans and non-fans of League of Legends. This has led to the construction of a transmedia narrative that spans across multiple media platforms. Previously, transmedia storytelling has been studied from various angles, such as for movie franchises, but its usage as a marketing tool for online games is rather unexplored. Given the success and social significance of League of Legends’ transmedia narrative, it was used as a case study to explore the concept of transmedia storytelling in relation to an online game’s transmedia marketing strategies. Therefore, this research investigates this topic at the intersection of game, media, and marketing studies, with the following research question: How is transmedia storytelling used in League of Legends’ transmedia marketing strategies? Based on this question, a qualitative approach was taken to arrive at a meaningful answer. Various academic sources were reviewed to establish a theoretical framework based on the core concepts of transmedia storytelling and marketing, as well as the subject of online games. This was followed by a methodology for which a textual analysis in the form of thematic analysis was chosen as the research method given its suitability for this study. A television series of nine episodes and two music videos were selected as audiovisual content, taken from League of Legends’ transmedia narrative and were analyzed using thematic analysis, which led to the emergence of three main themes. The first theme, reinforcing the game’s macro story, shows that transmedia storytelling is used to reference ideas and elements of the game in the transmedia content, which creates a sense of connection for the audience of League of Legends. The second theme, adding additional angles and elements to the narrative, reveals how new aspects are introduced through the transmedia content that build upon the online game’s existing narrative and provide more value for the audience. The final theme of implementing dimension and depth indicates how transmedia storytelling offers new insights that push League of Legends’ narrative further and impose new dynamics based on the game’s universe. Towards the end, the theoretical and social implications of this study are presented, along with the limitations and potential directions for future research.

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Dr. Teresa de la Hera
Media & Business
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Kai Chen. (2023, February 3). Transmedia Storytelling as a Marketing Strategy for Online Games A Case Study on League of Legends’ Transmedia Narrative. Media & Business. Retrieved from