League of Legends is a bit of a hero in the video game world. It's one of the few free-to-play titles that really hit mega stardom across the world. Statistics from earlier this year show that League of Legends had over 27 million people playing on a daily basis, with 67 million logging in every month and up to 7.5 million players simultaneously logged in at any given time. Riot Games, the company behind League of Legends, has never developed another game. LoL was their first and only title, and the company has confirmed on many occasions that a sequel will likely never come. If there's no sequel planned, what's next for Riot Games?

The development studio discussed new intellectual properties in the past, and that's where they'll look for the next game. However, don't expect that game to hit any time soon. With the fourth world championship for League of Legends happening right now, the game continues to rise in popularity. It wasn't long ago that Riot contracted a number of LoL teams, which is not typical in the world of eSports. Generally speaking, outside companies (Samsung, Hyper X, etc.) sponsor eSports players, not the developer of the game in question. Riot clearly has long-term plans for LoL, with members of the development team stating that they'd like to see their grandchildren playing League of Legends decades from now.

While a sequel isn't in the cards, the new IP will likely take plenty of ideas from League of Legends. It will be a free-to-play digital distribution title, similar to League of Legends. Unlike Blizzard and other companies who have a base in retail, Riot has only done digital releases. With that said, the company has been extremely successful with that business model and will continue to use it with the new IP.

Many have always wanted to play League of Legends on consoles, and while the current game is very clearly meant to be played with a keyboard and mouse, that doesn't mean a console port is completely out of the question. There were numerous rumors swirling around E3 2013 that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One would receive ports of the game, but obviously that never came to pass. While it's possible to map and alter the controls of LoL for a console, it's far more likely that Riot's new IP will be geared toward both PC and console players to capitalize on a wider gaming market.

The best way to look at the business approach of Riot's unannounced new IP is Blizzard's Heathstone: Heroes of Warcraft. The extremely popular, free-to-play, digital trading card game (TCG) is currently available on PC and iPad, with Android and iPhone versions planned to release later this year. That covers the PC and a large portion of handheld devices across the world, and it wouldn't be overly difficult to put Hearthstone on consoles as well. Riot's new IP will offer a similar experience of a free-to-play game that can work across multiple platforms with a similar (if not identical) gameplay experience.

The big question at this point is when we'll see this new IP from Riot and what kind of gameplay experience players can expect. First and foremost, do not expect anything similar to League of Legends. With Riot's plan to continue expanding on LoL for many years to come, you won't see another game in the same MOBA genre. An RTS or TCG are the most likely routes for Riot's next venture.

While a trading card game would more than likely be a stop-gap between LoL and the new IP, it's something that many other companies have done well, and it's a low resource way to earn a considerable amount of return on investment. Meanwhile, a real-time strategy would be a very interesting take because it would essentially be the reverse of what happened with Blizzard's popular properties. The Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) MOBA began as a mod of Blizzard's Warcraft 3 RTS game. Going from the League of Legends MOBA to a Riot-developed RTS would be an interesting reversal.

As to when Riot fans can expect the company to announce the new IP, it's unlikely to happen until at least the fifth season of the LoL championship. Riot has made several big moves in the eSports scene with LoL over the past two years, and the results of those moves are just starting to settle in. With League still on the rise, it's too early for Riot to announce a new IP before at least late next year. No matter what the case, a new IP is coming from Riot and it will be here sooner rather than later.