Riot Games President and League of Legends Executive Producer, Marc Merrill, also known as Tryndamere, has recently decided to answer a bunch of questions related to the game, while also, has decided to talk more about Riot Games after fans accused it to be "a money hungry company". While some may still think the same, Mr. Merrill definietely managed to explain Riot Games business practices a bit better and introduce us to everything his company did up to date for e-Sports. Marc Merrill's post can be seen here under, while whole discussion can be found on Reddit:
It's pretty frustrating when people try to position us as greedy, because look at it from our perspective:
1. We build pretty much the first successful free online game in the west that core gamers actually really like and play
2. 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 of being money hungry. If you compare the price of League of Legends entertainment per hour to every other form of media, we're the lowest around (we should probably commission a study to explain this), but the easiest examples to think of are: movies, magazines, books, box games, etc. $60 for 10 hours, woo!
3. Millions upon millions of our players spend zero dollars on league and enjoy it endlessly. We're COMPLETELY OK with this. Greedy how? You do not have to spend money, it is completely opt-in.
4. 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 (or a million like Ocelote:http://www.gamespot.com/articles/league-of-legends-player-makes-close-to-1m-per-year/1100-6415722/)
5. We build a TV show that also costs millions and we run ZERO ads on it to deliver a great experience to our players, entirely free
We do all this because Ryze and I are gamers. Always have been, always will be. We play the shit out of League of Legends. When servers go down, we flip out. When we don't deliver on something we promised, we flip out (Magma chamber where?) and change the world internally. When we overreach on legal language with eSports contracts to prevent competitors from paying our pros to promote their games, we acknowledge the error and change it immediately.
And guess what else? Most game businesses focus on metrics like ARPU (average revenue per user) and try to build their entire companies and organizations around optimizing for driving to a sale (think Zynga). We do the OPPOSITE.
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. Our focus is entirely different.
So, no offense - but I completely disagree with your greed accusation and yes, it pisses me off because I've spent the last 8 years of my life building this company, game and team to deliver great value and to treat players well - and largely because the Rioter to player ratio has changed from like 1:5,000 to 1:50,000, our core message and passion is being diluted.
So, thanks for the additional reminder we need to do better at explaining who we are. But FUCK me if I don't allow a little emotion to slip in when the takeaway is so utterly wrong for who we are as a company.
What is your opinion on this? Leave your answer in a comment section below.