League of Legends: The Future of Butcher's Bridge ARAM Map

by Matt Best

Bilgewater Bithers Bridge
(Photo: League of Legends)

Special events within League of Legends are usually hit or miss. People tend to never have a middle ground with them. When the Bilgewater Event came around, they really hit a home run as fans fell in love with Butcher's Bridge, a new look for ARAM.

Butcher's Bridge was incredible to play on. Even though at first glance it just looked like a non-snowy version of the Howling Abyss, once you got to play on it, you instantly loved the map (and the announcer pack).

Ever since the Bilgewater Event ended, fans have asked for just one thing. The return of Butcher's Bridge.

According to L4T3NCY, League of Legends Lead Designer for Rotating Game Modes, it's not as simple as re-inserting the map again. "This one is a bit more complex than it seems at first glance. It might look like just an asset swap for the art (take one thing out, drop another thing in), but there’s actually some underlying level scripts, foundation work, etc. that was forked from regular ARAM. This means that Butcher’s Bridge is a unique beast from the code’s point-of-view, even if it looks the same from a player point-of-view."

When decisions are made, they're slotted on a priority ladder. If they're small changes like a hotfix, they can rush that and have it done quickly. Bringing a map back into a game takes a lot more work. "Bringing it to parity with today’s ARAM (allowing it to be switched on) would require a non-trivial amount of work, and while we’d love to do that, we have to weigh it against the other stuff we’re currently working on, like new game modes and Practice Tool."

So what about the future? Has a Butcher's Bridge return been shot down? Not so fast. "This isn’t to say Butcher’s Bridge will never return, just that we’re currently more focused on other development priorities."

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By Matt Best

Matt Best is the Lead On Air Host and Producer for WWG. He has spent his professional career submerged in both the traditional sports world as well as esports. As one of the only Canadians at WWG, if you want to tilt Matt, just bring up awful Canadian stereotypes.