From Launch to Meme: How a Korean Music Video from Riot Games Gathered Explosive Fandom
Riot is known for making games, but its music and videos often surprise us by garnering explosive fandom, too
We have made a lot of music videos at Riot Games; players joke that we’re really a music company that occasionally makes games. And while we’re always proud of how they come out, sometimes, these things take on a life of their own.
For the launch of the third set of new characters, gameplay mechanics, and content for our strategy game Teamfight Tactics (TFT), Riot’s team in Korea decided to reach out to Mushvenom, a rapper climbing up the charts after appearing in the country’s biggest hip-hop competition show. One of the key musical hooks in the song he made for us is the nonsense expression dududunga (ㄷㄷㄷㅈ) — really, just a fun sound, not a word.
It turned out to be a lot more fun than we ever expected because it lit the community on fire. The phrase spread across Korea, becoming a kind of signature of their passion for TFT. Here are a few examples:
- The TikTok community went wild with it, including this gem.
- One player took the video and cut a 10-hour long loop of it; the YouTube video managed to rack up over 230,000 views.
- And for those moments when you just need a dududunga, the internet provided a push-button solution.
Best of all, when the song played during a major esports event in Korea, the phrase became a rallying cry — across teams. No matter who a fan might be rooting for, they were shouting this phrase in chat. Fierce rivals were actually doing something together; the joke became that Mushvenom ought to get a Nobel Peace Prize!
Riot Games strives for cultural relevance, not merely recognition.
Watching a song become a meme become a sensation has been a fantastic validation for us that we’re on the right track. And this is not a one-off endeavor for us; the Korea team makes sure that each campaign reflects each game’s unique elements to continuously communicate and engage with players (like their new collaborations with Mushvenom). The secret is in our local teams, who know their communities inside and out. It also takes a little bit of magic and, if I may say so, a little bit of dududunga.