The executive producer and president of the extremely popular game, League Of Legends, made a surprise appearance on Reddit in response to an accusation of Riot Games being “greedy”.
Originally, the thread was created by a Reddit user, lolthr0w, asking if League Of Legends players were going to get a new client for Season Four.
A Reddit user, by the name omgdracula, wrote a response to the thread, stating “I do not know why it is so hard for this community to see that Riot is very very greedy. I have played since right out of beta and have seen them evolve into a money hungry company.” This response created quite a stir where many started to discuss Riot Game’s “greed”.
Merrill responded to the thread claims in defense of his company. He starts off by saying:
“It’s pretty frustrating when people try to position us as greedy, because look at it from our perspective:
- We build pretty much the first successful free online game in the west that core gamers actually really like and play
- 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 […].
- 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.”
Merrill continues (with passion, I might add), “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.”
Which is pretty much true and understandable. I’m an active League Of Legends player (since late 2009) and I’ve had plenty of fun without having to spend money on it. And props to Riot Games in being so successful.
They’ve made a huge impact in the world of eSports, with their LCS tournaments all throughout Europe and North America. And hey, their artwork rocks and that’s what evokes people into purchasing champion and ward skins. They’re engaging; the staff plays with fans, listens to comments and feedback, and encourages a great active community altogether. I’m actually interested to see if they will be at PAX 2014!
He also took the time to address the concerns regarding the creation for a new client for Season Four, “When you are Riot … there are lots of additional considerations that need to be managed,” he said.
You can view Merrill’s full response on Reddit here.
What do you think? Is Riot Games getting greedy? Share your thoughts with me!