Riot Games Accused of Greed, Tryndamere Talks

January 02, 2014 29

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:

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. 

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hallowhorror1031 | Sunday, May 1, 2016 5:27 AM
Yes but dont you also steal from players as well?I mean technically when you ban players arent you stealing from them than?Also by not providing a fair system to players,solo que matchmaking, you basically force as many players as possible into bronze simply to assist specific players to look better so they can make you guys even more money?is this not all true?
Ahmad Leninegaglover Yusof
Ahmad Leninegaglover Yusof | Monday, January 6, 2014 3:29 PM
"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."
Faggot | Monday, January 6, 2014 1:33 PM
Lets not forget that Riot games payed PAX to uninstall dota 2 on their computers. The employees were specifically told to tell customers that asked for dota to say "You should play League of Legends instead, it's a great game."
I'd like to see this brushed off as not greedy and an act of generosity.
Relentless.D | Sunday, January 5, 2014 5:26 PM
I like how some people are going "you have to spend money if you want to win and buy good stuff and champions" like you couldn't already with the in game money (IP) the game gives you just for playing, i have currently bought almost every champion (missing like 12 left out of the hundreds there are) and I did it with IP only and power ups like runes can be done the same way, you only spend money for the visuals and such and that's completely optional so the the people saying "greedy" your just impatient and looking for someone to blame for your mistakes. I've spent around 300$ if not more and i'm completely fine with it cause it was my choice.

Oleg Inozemtsev
Oleg Inozemtsev | Friday, January 3, 2014 1:59 PM
Well, I think he threw his answers in the right way. Imagine yourself, building a game, while there is a second team doing the same (HON) and Valve announcing their Dota2 project. Guy must have been under a lot of stress, and he actually beat the HON out of the market(with combined power of dota2 ofc). So back to the story, you are a game producer or whatever, you have put sh*tloads of your life in it, and some punk comes to accuse you of being greedy. I wonder how many games has that accuser made? :D No seriously, it's a hard work. And yeah, they never said that you have to buy the stuff from shop ( considering that it's only visual to begin with). About runes, I think that actually makes you want to progress and win, earn the "cash" in there and improve leveling up in some other games :D ( and yeah, i didnt mention masteries). So I would react the same way probably :D With all the **** that I have gathered while making this game happen :D For me, the ONLY bigger company that actually IS greedy is EA Games :D Yes, they deserve the crap thrown at their windows. Especially after last bugged Battlefield that they released...but thats another story :) So yeah, you have to stay afloat and earn cash, at least to keep the servers up (or try that -> EUW). Well, whatever, I'm out :D
EmperorSly | Friday, January 3, 2014 1:34 PM
Haha riot thinks we are stupid. Ofcourse they are greedy. LoL was the first moba I played and honestly tried to get into it. But after seeing that i had to grind away just to get my runes and masteries, let alone champs/heroes.... it turned me off from playing it. Seriously a game that starts you off with limited champs/heroes is only a game that goes around masquerading as if its free-to-play. Also where is the balance if you start off with no masteries when others already have half or more completed ?
Riot, You seriously want to be considered free-to-play and not be called greedy ? Then why not allow accessibility to all of the champs/heroes, and only put price tags on cosmetics/skins only?
You wont because you clearly know you make a lot of money from the impatient community.
Futilizer | Friday, January 3, 2014 11:57 AM
Let's just all ignore Riot Games and point our fingers at EA. If anyone is greedy, it's those assholes.
AisakaTaiga | Friday, January 3, 2014 8:05 AM
rofl "you don't have to spend money" like, if you wanna win, you have to spend money, to buy OP champs... greedy :D
tackytanuki | Friday, January 3, 2014 1:28 AM
I've been with this game for two years now and have spent close to $800 ($1,000 if you count mystery gifting and purchasing skins for my boyfriend). In no way did I ever feel like I was behind some pay wall to get the best out of this game. I only ever paid for skins (and rune pages, because I was too impatient to grind IP). It's purely play-to-win. I would have never spent my money on a game that made me continue to pay to win. I spent my money because I stand behind what Riot is doing and truly enjoy playing League of Legends. Honestly, League could have switched platforms and made the game cost $20.00 and I still would have payed to play it. Why? Because it's a great product, and a product that you get for free, no less. I have no idea how people can consider a F2P with no microtransactions a greedy company.
masterboro | Friday, January 3, 2014 12:45 AM
And just remember a while back ago that HoN wasn't free and you had to pay to play and Dota2 neither free because you had to pay too, to access the early login beta thing. whoever doesn't like paying for skins or champions with real money (which is optional), then he better pay for keys to open crates and other stuff... lol!!!! Riot games evolved the moba genre that started with Dota1 and made it so popular that esports today have bigger audience than real sports in some cases.

Since, Dota2,LoL,HoN and many other games give a free to play experience with optional visual stuff to buy that have nothing to offer more than a visual look-and-feel, that's really OK with me and I support it!!
Nerevaryjczyk | Friday, January 3, 2014 12:28 AM
Riot as a company never did anything to make us think they are greedy, but well, people LOVE to troll.
There are only two problems in LoL, and those are: community (but don't get too happy Dota players, your community isn't better) and Tribunal made by this commmunity (well, duh).

We as fans suck. Seriously, look on forums, look on facebook. Read few comments. Yea, a comedy. Tragicomedy, cause it's showing how "normal lol/dota" player childlish is. Though word "childlish" should be replaced with something more... unpleasant.
Never | Thursday, January 2, 2014 11:56 PM
I'm DotA player and i totally support this. I mean if you want to play free , you can. Still if there is no people out there spending money for LoL then LoL couldn't exist , as same is for DotA and every other game. If you still think they are greedy for money, come to my house and chop all the trees for winter for free .... greedy now ?
Miladin Ristic
Miladin Ristic | Thursday, January 2, 2014 9:42 PM
after 4 years of playing league the only problem i have with this game is the'll be a perfect game if you can chose what lane you want to play before queueing for a match and not fight in the pre-game i mid or i top or anything but support etc. etc......
YUI | Thursday, January 2, 2014 9:19 PM
Riot Lifts League of Legends Pro Streaming Bans. No explain.
Сержант Генов
Сержант Генов | Thursday, January 2, 2014 7:50 PM
Maleok | Thursday, January 2, 2014 7:20 PM
Just Ignore the Dota players. League of legends is the most played game on earth soooo.....let them poke fun.
Pretguin | Thursday, January 2, 2014 6:30 PM
People shouldn't blame a company for doing what it is supposed to do. League of legends is probably the best moba out there, I can say after playing heroes of newerth and Dota. I'm not saying those two suck, but riot has created a new gameplay based on the traditional moba map and for players who have been playing moba since Dota 1, it's something worth trying. Spending time playing and gaining skill for unlocking a champ is actually a good thing and makes you feel like you're reaching a goal. Skins are optional.
NiKsoN2 | Thursday, January 2, 2014 5:32 PM
Oh sorry for double post, but i forgot something...

What's the point in commenting on Dota 2 news about how League sucks. I mean, who even mentioned it there? It's just retarded.
NiKsoN2 | Thursday, January 2, 2014 5:29 PM
I feel sorry for Tryndamere, really. Everyone who plays League knows how economy goes like in it, and it's by far not "greedy". I think people complaining and calling it that way are just a few LoL players and thousands of ignorant players from "competing MOBAs", mostly Dota. Just like Stormcho and Vorgath.

They are blaming him even though they probably didn't even try league. Gamersbook is full of such people, facebook comments are exploding in "LoL - cuz it's a joke" or "Dota > sucky LoL". Why wont you guys just shut up already. Both games are succesful.

(BTW all champions are accesible free on League, so get your facts straight)
Osi | Thursday, January 2, 2014 5:29 PM
TBH i stopped playing lol for a while now ,RL things , but the way Riot does it isn't bad. giving you the option between earning your heroes or paying for them they are not forcing you and i think earning your hero is a good thing bec it will force you to play and become a better player there for enriching the game experience rather than u logging in once every week not know new heroes or anything and then be the noob everyone rages about
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