Coca-Cola is introducing a soda called Coca-Cola Ultimate that is inspired by the popular video game League of Legends, the company said in a statement. It is the first time Coca-Cola has collaborated with a gaming company to co-create a flavor.
The beverage giant is partnering with Riot Games, the developer and publisher of League of Legends, to allow consumers to bring the spirit of leveling up to real life (a component of the game that unlocks new abilities or higher ranks of existing abilities). Coca-Cola Ultimate has a unique flavor inspired by many facets of the League of Legends world, the company said.
Coca-Cola Ultimate is the seventh limited-edition flavor to launch under Coca-Cola Creations. Similar to other beverages released under the Creations platform, the beverage doesn’t promote or reveal a flavor profile, such as cola, cherry or vanilla, but rather a mood or experience.
Coca-Cola started the Creations platform in 2022 to highlight the company’s signature beverage while drawing in younger consumers. Last year, it rolled out Coca-Cola Starlight, Coca-Cola Byte, the artist Marshmello’s Limited Edition Coca-Cola and Coca-Cola Dreamworld. And in February, it debuted Coca-Cola Move in collaboration with Grammy-award-winning singer Rosalía.
The drinks are as much about discovering the flavors as they are about the discussions that follow, particularly among younger consumers eager for something new.
"This collaboration with Riot Games allows us to continue elevating the Coca-Cola Creations platform with a brand new flavor that reinforces our shared mission to put fans and players at the forefront of everything we do,” Oana Vlad, senior director of global strategy at Coca-Cola, said in a statement.
Coca-Cola Ultimate, which will be available in full- and zero-sugar versions, will hit store shelves in the U.S. and Canada on June 12.
As music fans, video game players and others show interest in the limited-time flavors, the valuable buzz draws attention to Coca-Cola’s other products. In the case of Coca-Cola Ultimate, the product’s release will be accompanied by in-game and digital experiences.
The discussion is important for the beverage maker as it connects with younger consumers who will make up an ever-increasing portion of future sales. A consumer of Coca-Cola Ultimate now could one day be a drinker of Diet Coke or Coke Zero later.
They’re about “testing the boundaries, whether it’s Space Coke or pixel or marshmallow, that’s about engagement with consumers,” James Quincey, Coca-Cola’s CEO, said at a conference last November. “They are not designed to be variants that will last forever.”
Coca-Cola expects to unveil additional limited-edition Creations beverages in 2023.