Riot Games' Marc Merrill spells out his studio's mission... on Reddit
When Reddit poster omgdracula complained that League of Legends
developer Riot Games is "very very greedy," company co-founder and president Marc Merrill (under his alias Tryndamere) quickly jumped into the thread to set the record straight from his perspective -- and in the process outlined the guiding principles
of the massively successful free-to-play studio.
In response to the criticism that the massively successful company is "greedy," Merrill counters that Riot continually reinvests in the game and its community.
"We did this by building a really fun game, constantly investing over and over to grow and improve this game and by NOT selling power or being money hungry," he says, noting that "millions upon millions of our players spend zero dollars on League
and enjoy it endlessly."
"We spend tens of millions of dollars building a pro-eSports scene to help some of our best players become global superstars who make hundreds of thousands of dollars," Merrill claims. ESports has been a big push
for Riot over the past year.
Interestingly, he contrasts his game against companies that focus entirely on revenue (his example being Zynga.) His goal for Riot? "We train our entire company to drive towards ENGAGEMENT. Meaning, MAKE COOL SHIT and deliver VALUE and if people PLAY enough because they love what we do, then they will WANT to spend money."
"We do all this because Ryze and I are gamers. Always have been, always will be," Merrill says, using CEO and co-founder Brandon Beck's online nickname. While it's clear that things cannot possibly be this simple, the post is a reminder
that a game developer -- no matter how large its signature product has become -- is infused with the spirit of those who make the games.